Panghal, Bisht handed first-round byes in World Boxing Championships
The draws for the men's 2019 World Boxing Championships to be held in Russia’s Ekaterinburg were announced on Sunday (September 8) with second-seeded Amit Panghal and Kavinder Singh Bisht of India receiving byes in the first round.
India’s Ashish Kumar, who will be fighting in the middleweight (75kg) category, has also been granted a first-round bye alongside heavyweight boxer Sanjeet.
These four will begin their challenge in the Round of 16 and will not be in action for the first few days of the competition.
Panghal will face either Batuhan Citfci of Turkey or Israeli David Alaverdian in his first bout in the flyweight (52kg) category on Saturday (September 14).
Bisht, who won a gold medal at Finland’s GeeBee Boxing tournament earlier this year, will hope to continue winning ways when he comes up against China’s Zhihao Chen or Japanese Subaru Murata in his first bout in the featherweight (57kg) category on Saturday (September 15).
Meanwhile, one of India’s medal prospects at the Worlds, Manish Kaushik will face Kazakhstan’s Argen Kadyrbek in his first-round bout on Thursday (September 12). Kadyrbek is a promising, young prospect for his nation and fared well at the 2018 Asian Games, getting as far as the quarterfinals.
High on confidence
However, Kaushik comes into the competition high on confidence - especially after getting the better of one of India’s established names, Shiva Thapa, in the national trials in July.
The silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Kaushik, was also one of the two gold medallists from the country at the 36th Feliks Stamm International Boxing Tournament in Poland earlier this year.
In the light heavyweight (81kg) division, Brijesh Yadav will carry the nation's hopes and will take on Maleusz Goinski of Poland on Tuesday (September 10). Duryodhan Singh Yadav, who will be participating in the welterweight (69kg) category, has been pitted against Armenia’s K Astuyan.
No Olympic places
The World Championships have no Olympic quotas in place for the medallists.
India’s men boxers have at best-won bronze medals at World Championships in the past editions, with Vijender Singh, Vikas Krishnan, Thapa and Gaurav Bidhuri all achieving podium finishes in the past.