Asian Boxing Championship 2021: Amit Panghal speaks on controversial decision by referees, “thought I won last bout” – India boxer Amit Panghal might have had to settle with a silver medal at the just concluded Asian Boxing Championships, but the 25-year-old understands that he still needs to work on his craft if he has to bring back a medal from the Tokyo Olympics.
Panghal had gone down fighting against the reigning Olympics champion Zoirov Shakhobidin in a hard-fought men’s 52kg final at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Monday. In an interaction with ANI, Panghal opened up on his disappointment with having to settle for a silver medal at the Championships and spoke on his preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Games.
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“I was thinking that I had won the last bout, but there must be some area where I did lag behind so I will try to work on that,” said Panghal while talking about the summit clash against Shakhobidin.
“I have noted down few things where I need to improve and it will keep me in good stead going forward. There is scope for improvement, I have been training with my coach, where I lagged behind earlier, that has improved significantly now,” he added.
The defending champion Panghal put up a great fight against the world champion but it was not enough for the Indian to go past Uzbek boxer as he suffered a narrow 2-3 defeat with 29-28, 28-29, 28-29, 28-29, 30-27 scoreline. India also lodged a protest and contested the round two decision of the split verdict. But the protest lodged by Indian team had not been accepted by the Jury Commission and Panghal had to settle for a silver medal.
“I was thinking that the protest will be accepted, in my opinion, I had won the bout. I had gotten two rounds, the second round was decided in a 3-2 manner, we were thinking to take it 5-0, if we had gotten that, we would have won the bout 3-2. I do not know why the protest was cancelled. I had thought the bout was ours, but never mind, going forward, I will work harder,” said Panghal.
“The ones who protested against us, they got theirs accepted but the one we protested, we did not get that. The bouts were going 2-3 against us, and it were all going to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. There can be a transparent scoring system and if it is implemented, it will help everyone. Many times we think that the bout has gone against us, if there is a transparent scoring system, it will help Indian boxing,” he added.
When asked about his preparation for the Asian Boxing Championships, Panghal said: “It was an important tournament before the Olympics. We just wanted to get good bouts here, my preparation was going well before the tournament. My basic coach was there so I kept on training with him. My confidence level got better too.”
Talking about the Olympics, the 25-year-old said: “Asian Championships have helped in increasing our confidence. The last bout I thought I had won that, I will work harder and I will try to ensure that going ahead, there is no bout that goes 2-3 against us. I will try to ensure that I win by a bigger margin. I will work harder in the areas I have identified.”
The pugilist also said that maintaining the fitness and training levels might get difficult if the bio-bubbles due to the coronavirus pandemic continue to last for a long time. “Coronavirus is rampant, if we have our coaches in the bio-bubble, it helps in ensuring better training. If the bio-bubbles go on longer, it might get a little difficult for us to ensure the fitness and training level,” Panghal signed off.