Having achieved the world number one position in his weight category, Indian boxing ace Amit Panghal believes that it will spur him to attain greater heights when the season resumes post the COVID-19 break.
The 24-year-old was accorded the top rank in the 52kg category in the latest rankings announced on Monday.
“I am very happy. It’s a satisfying feeling,” Amit Panghal told the Olympic Channel.
“This surely gives me more confidence that I go out and fight it out to maintain my level and hold on to the world No.1 tag once the season begins.”
Acknowledging that he will be the most scrutinized boxer at competitions henceforth, the Indian pugilist assured that the focus will be on maintaining his stature as the best.
“Things will be different. I have no doubts about it. Everyone will want to beat the world number one, so I don’t think I will have any easy bouts once the season resumes,” he said.
“But that also gives me the opportunity to prepare hard and be ready for the competition when it comes. It won't be an easy task to hold on to the ranking.
I need to prove that I deserve this and the only way to do it by winning my bouts. The first step is done, now it’s time to maintain this and perform like the best boxer in the world.”
While Amit Panghal was named the world no. 1 ahead of the Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in March, it was done by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)-appointed Boxing Task Force.
This body was constituted to conduct the Olympic qualifiers and the main event at Tokyo Olympics following AIBA’s suspension.
No respite for Amit Panghal
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has seen sporting events and training across the globe suspended. But that hasn’t stopped the Indian ace, who continues his routine under the watchful eyes of his early coach Anil Dhankhar.
“I don’t think my training has been hampered much. I have my coach here and we have been spending hours together working on my weakness,” he shared.
“I think my fitness level has also gone up a notch too. The break gave me enough time to work on my game and improve on the areas that I lacked. I think once the (national) camp resumes, I will be in good shape to take it forward from here.”
Mary Kom occupies third spot
Apart from Amit Panghal, silver medallist at the Asian Championships Kavinder Bisht is ranked fourth in the 56kg category, while the bronze medallist at the World Championships Manish Kaushik is placed sixth in the 64kg category.
Meanwhile, among women, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom is third in the 51kg category while medal winners at the 2019 World Championships Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) are placed fifth and third in their respective weight divisions.
Men: Deepak (49kg, 6th); Amit Panghal (52kg, 1st); Kavinder Bisht (56kg, 4th); Shiva Thapa (60kg, 16th); Manish Kaushik (64kg, 6th); Ashish (69kg, 19th); Ashish Kumar (75kg, 13th); Sanjeet (91kg, 12th) and Satish Kumar (+91kg, 23rd).
Women: Manju Rani (48kg, 2nd); MC Mary Kom (51kg, 3rd), Pinki Rani (51kg, 13th) and Nikhat Zareen (51kg, 21st); Jamuna Boro (54kg, 5th) and Manisha (54kg, 13th); Sonia Lather (57kg, 4th); Sarita Devi (60kg, 25th); Simranjit Kaur (64kg, 6th); Lovlina Borgohain (69kg, 3rd); Pooja Rani (81kg, 8th).