India had earned

Boxing World Qualifiers: Amit Panghal clinches fifth Paris Olympics quota for India with unanimous verdict against China’s Liu Chuang

New Delhi, Jun 2, 2024 : 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Amit Panghal relied on his quickfire movement and combination of jabs and uppercuts to overcome a slow start and earn a unanimous 5:0 verdict against China’s Liu Chuang in the 51kg quarterfinals of the Boxing World Qualifiers to become the fifth Indian boxer to earn a Paris Olympic quota on Sunday.

India had earned three quotas at the 2022 Asian Games through Nikhat Zareen (women’s 50kg), Preeti (54kg) and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) by virtue of all of them finishing on the podium in Guangzhou, China.

Nishant Dev became the first Indian male boxer to secure a Paris berth earlier this week when he defeated Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari in the 71kg quarterfinals.

Panghal added to that list on Saturday with a fine display of tenacity and aggression against Chunag, who had drawn first blood by claiming Round 1 4:1 on the back some fine punches.

But the Indian national champion came out all guns blazing in Round 2 and attacked relentlessly to grab the advantage, impressing all the five judges. The deciding round was a frantic display of boxing by both pugilists as they attempted to outpunch each other.

Panghal ultimately came out on top as he smartly manoeuvred his Chinese opponent and landed his combination on his face and body to clinch the bout with a unanimous verdict.

India can clinch two more Paris Olympic berths later this evening with Jaismine to take on Mali’s Marine Camara in the women’s 57kg quarterfinals while Sachin Siwach will face Kyrgyzstan’s Munarbek Seiitbek Uul in the third place play-off in men’s 57kg category to decide who clinches the quota.