Thailand Open boxing: Amit Panghal makes winning return; Ashish Kumar in final

Monika (women’s 48kg), Govind Sahani (men’s 48kg) and Varinder Singh (men’s 60kg) also progressed into the finals.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by Boxing Federation of India

Ace Indian boxer Amit Panghal, competing for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, punched his way into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament 2022 in Phuket on Wednesday.

Amit Panghal, a world championships silver medallist, dominated Thanakon Aonyaem of Thailand and won 5-0 by unanimous decision in the men’s 52kg contest.

Ashish Kumar, also a Tokyo Olympian, meanwhile, carried his good form and entered the finals alongside three other Indian pugilists competing in various categories.

Ashish Kumar, who won the gold at the last edition in the men’s 75kg, blanked Maikhel Roberrd Muskita of Indonesia 5-0 in the men’s 81kg semi-final. He had earlier defeated Thailand’s Aphisit Khankhokkhruea in the quarter-finals.

Monika (women’s 48kg), Govind Sahani (men’s 48kg) and Varinder Singh (men’s 60kg) were the other Indians who made it into the finals of their respective categories.

Monika, who had upstaged the two-time world championships medallist Josie Gabuco of the Philippines in the previous round, looked solid against Tran Thi Diem Kieu from Vietnam and won by unanimous decision.

Govind Sahani, meanwhile, had to work hard against a resolute Nguyen Linh Phung of Vietnam in an intense bout that saw both fighters land heavy punches. Govind Sahani took charge of the bout on time and won 4-1 via a split decision.

In the men’s 60kg semi-finals, Varinder Singh received a walkover against Palestine’s Abdel Rahman Abunab.

In the women’s quarter-finals bouts played earlier in the day, Bhagyabati Kachari (women’s 75kg) made her way into the semi-finals with a 5-0 win over Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee.

Rohit Mor (men’s 57kg) was the only Indian boxer to lose on the day. The national champion went down to Thailand’s Rujakran Juntrong 5-0.

In the last edition of the Thailand Open, held in 2019, India had won eight medals - one gold, four silver and three bronze. At this edition, India has sent 15 boxers - eight men and seven women - to compete.

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