Star Indian boxer Amit Panghal on Friday created history and became the first even Indian boxer to reach the World Men's Boxing Championship final in the 52 kg Flyweight category. The 2018 Asia Games gold medalist defeated Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the hard-fought semifinal by points 3-2.
Another Indian Manish Kaushik signed off with a bronze medal after going down in the semi-final in the 63 kg Flyweight category at Ekaterinburg, Russia. Kaushik lost to top-seeded Cuban pugilist Andy Gomez Cruz, the gold-medallist from the last year’s championship.
Panghal will now face Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov from Uzbekistan in the final bout. Zoirov had knocked down Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.
Panghal, who is also serving as Naib Subedar in the Indian Army, has risen remarkebly to the boxing arena after winning a 49kg category bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships. He emerged as a quarterfinalist at his debut year in the world championship and won two gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria.
In 2018, he become the Asian Games champion by bagging the yellow metal in his respective category. This year, he moved from 49 kg category to 52 kg and won Asian Boxing Championships gold.
So far, India has never won more than one medal in a single edition of the world championship. This, however, changed when both Panghal and Kaushik reached semi-final.