Amit Panghal defeated reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov to claim the gold medal in 49kg boxing at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta on Saturday. The 22-year old Panghal looked in brilliant form throughout the bout and in the end, he was able to clinch the encounter by split decision (3-2). Amit making his debut at the Games showed immense tactical brilliance especially in defence to outwit the Uzbek who has an iconic status in international boxing. Dusmatov won a silver in the world championship last year.
But the Haryana-boxer extracted sweet revenge for the narrow loss in Hamburg keeping his range and striking some clean right hooks and jabs to his shorter and slightly edgy opponent. The Uzbek southpaw known for his brilliant counter-attacks seemed wary of the constantly-on-the-move Indian who refused to fall into the trap of diving in. The result was a frustrated Dusmatov being forced to lunge forward which worked perfectly well for the Indian in his counter-attacking game. Earlier this year, he also won gold medals at the inaugural India Open and the prestigious Strandja memorial in Bulgaria.
Vijender Singh and Vikas Krishan were the last set of male gold-medallists for India at the Asian Games. They had won their yellow metal at the 2010 Guangzhou edition. Vikas (75kg) settled for a bronze this time. In the 2014 Games, M C Mary Kom was the lone gold-medallist for India. This was the 14th gold medal for India at Asian Games 2018 and their overall tally stands at 66 medals which is one more than 2010 — the country’s best ever Asian Games show. Vikas Krishan, the only other Indian boxer who managed to reach the semi-finals settled for bronze after conceding a walkout. Vikas who competes in the middleweight (75kg) category was scheduled to take on Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan for a place in the final.