Dubai: India’s Amit Panghal (52kg) and Shiva Thapa (64kg) lost close finals of the Asian Boxing Championships, and finished with silver medals.
Panghal went down fighting 2-3 against reigning Olympic and world champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan. The Indian put up a great fight but it wasn’t enough, losing 29-28, 28-29, 28-29, 28-29, 30-27.
Thapa too suffered a close defeat by split 2-3 decision against Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig.
Thapa, the World Championships bronze medallist, is only the second male boxer in the world to win five medals at the Asian Championships. The 27-year-old Assam boxer had won gold in 2013, silver in 2017 and two bronze in 2015 and 2019.
The 19-member Indian contingent has secured an unprecedented 15 medals and ensured the country’s best-ever show, surpassing the previous best of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) won in the 2019 edition in Bangkok.
Earlier, during a high-voltage 52kg summit clash between top two seeds — Panghal and Shakhobidin — both boxers showed great skill and attacked their opponent from the word go.
In the second round, Panghal took time as he was more accurate, hit timely punches with more power and was sharp in defence as well. However, Shakhobidin fought back well in time and managed to tilt the game in his favour.
Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) have secured bronze medals in the men’s section after losing their semi-final matches.