Boxer Amit Panghal back to the top – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

“He’s not the first boxer to be taken out by Amit Panghal, and he won’t be the last either.” Those words from the TV commentator during the men’s 51kg final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday summed up how the Indian was leading the engaging contest, which had the gold medal on the line.

Amit was doing what Amit does best. With long-range punches (which he prefers) or medium-range uppercuts, he found the gaps at will with his speed and ring intelligence to penetrate the defenses of his rival, England’s Kieran MacDonald.

“The last time I saw Amit put on a similar performance was at the Asian Games and World Championships,” former India men’s team head coach CA Kuttappa, who is currently part of the coaching staff of NIS Patiala.

Kieran had done everything right until the final – two unanimous verdict victories and an RSC victory before Sunday. Boxing on familiar ground, the England star, also left-handed, was expected to give Amit a tricky test.

The English boxer got off to a watchful start, landing a few body shots. However, Amit, with a nuanced method of operation, was ready to play the waiting game.

Whenever the opportunity arose, he would do these sudden bursts to shake Kieran. In the end, the Indian, with a few venomous blows from his left hand (strong hand), was top in the judges’ scorecard.

In the second round, Amit, after evaluating his opponent, took more risks and threw uppercuts and body shots. The damage was clear when the referee briefly halted the fight for Kieran, who had sustained an injury near his right eye, to seek medical attention.

On replay, Amit was going to kill and throwing big combination punches. Kieran didn’t back down and continued to pursue Amit.

However, Amit was in the zone and too quick for the home star and kept shaking him with heavy fists. There was clear daylight between the two on the judges’ card with Amit Miles ahead heading into the final 180 seconds of the match.

In the end, Amit kept throwing punches to keep his rival at bay and finish strong.

This gold medal comes after its lowest level of last year. After heading to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the top seed, Amit was knocked out in his very first fight.

His reputation was in tatters. It was a tough reality check for someone who had crushed big dogs in the sport to achieve number one status in his weight class.

He was obviously deflated but deep down he knew that was the nature of the sport.

Past setbacks had helped him weather the losses unhindered. He had to go back to the drawing board and recalibrate. He was therefore absent from the national circuit, which missed the national championships.

Back to the roots

This meant boxers like Deepak Bhoria, who competes in Amit’s weight class, had threatened to take the No. 1 spot in his weight class.

Deepak had also beaten top boxers and was making the right noises. Missing the nationals meant that Amit was also not part of the camp initially.

He instead opted to train near his home in Rohtak and got his trainer Anil Dhankar and local contenders back on his feet.

“He started training with the boys at the training center here and continued to improve his game. He was optimistic and came into the camp and he hasn’t looked back since,” Anil told this daily.

After returning to camp, he won a silver medal at the Thailand international meet. It was a step in the right direction. A win over Deepak at the National Trials was just the balm he needed.

“He had worked hard with the coaches at the camp and I also visit him from time to time. He also used to come to our center in Rohtak,” Anil said.

After ticking the right boxes at this edition of the CWG, Amit is on the right path to recovery as he aims for a second chance at the Olympics. “It was great. He’s back in shape. It’s a fresh start,”
said Anil, summing up Amit’s golden ride. Amit won silver at the 2018 edition in Gold Coast.
It really is a new beginning. Amit would be determined this time to persevere and take advantage of this great performance.

Minimum weight, maximum yield

Nitu Gang capped off his superb CWG campaign with another dominating performance in the minimum weight class (48kg) to open India’s boxing gold account. It’s a dream come true for Nitu, who has had his share of struggles (on and off the pitch) in the past.

With the victories of RSC (referee stoppage contest) and ABD (abandoned) going into the final, Nitu was warned. And she did not disappoint against her opponent from England. With her immaculate technique and height advantage, she was too strong for Demie-Jade Resztan.

It’s a perfect start for Nitu, who looks up to MC Mary Kom. With big shoes to fill, the 21-year-old is looking to gain confidence from this outing and win more medals for the country in the near future.

Gold for Nikhat

Nikhat Zareen, meanwhile, lived up to her billing to put on another polished show. It is his second consecutive gold medal in the marquee after winning the World Championships earlier this year. Nikhat, like Nitu, dictated the game and controlled the pace of the 50kg bout against Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul.

This win should only add more confidence to his boxing abilities. Having been in the background in the past, Nikhat clearly seems to be enjoying the present.

“He’s not the first boxer to be taken out by Amit Panghal, and he won’t be the last either.” These words from the TV commentator during the men’s 51kg final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday summed up how the Indian was leading the engaging contest, which had the gold medal on the line. Amit was doing what Amit does better. With long-range punches (which he prefers) or medium-range uppercuts, he found the gaps at will with his speed and ring intelligence to penetrate the defenses of his rival, England’s Kieran MacDonald. “The last time I saw Amit put on a similar performance was at the Asian Games and World Championships,” former India men’s team head coach CA Kuttappa, who is currently part of the coaching staff of NIS Patiala. Kieran had done everything right until the final – two unanimous verdict victories and an RSC victory before Sunday. Boxing on familiar ground, the England star, also left-handed, was expected to give Amit a tricky test. The English boxer got off to a watchful start, landing a few body shots. However, Amit, with a nuanced method of operation, was ready to play the waiting game. Whenever the opportunity arose, he would do these sudden bursts to shake Kieran. In the end, the Indian, with a few venomous blows from his left hand (strong hand), was top in the judges’ scorecard. In the second round, Amit, after evaluating his opponent, took more risks and threw uppercuts and body shots. The damage was clear when the referee briefly halted the fight for Kieran, who had sustained an injury near his right eye, to seek medical attention. On replay, Amit was going to kill and throwing big combination punches. Kieran didn’t back down and continued to pursue Amit. However, Amit was in the zone and too quick for the home star and kept shaking him with heavy fists. There was clear daylight between the two on the judges’ card with Amit Miles ahead heading into the final 180 seconds of the match. In the end, Amit kept throwing punches to keep his rival at bay and finish strong. This gold medal comes after its lowest level of last year. After heading to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the top seed, Amit was knocked out in his very first fight. His reputation was in tatters. It was a tough reality check for someone who had crushed big dogs in the sport to achieve number one status in his weight class. He was obviously deflated but deep down he knew that was the nature of the sport. Past setbacks had helped him weather the losses unhindered. He had to go back to the drawing board and recalibrate. He was therefore absent from the national circuit, which missed the national championships. Back to roots This meant boxers like Deepak Bhoria, who competes in Amit’s weight class, had threatened to take the top spot in his weight class. Deepak had also beaten top boxers and was making the right noises. Missing the nationals meant that Amit was also not part of the camp initially. He instead opted to train near his home in Rohtak and got his trainer Anil Dhankar and local contenders back on his feet. “He started training with the boys at the training center here and continued to improve his game. He was optimistic and came into the camp and he hasn’t looked back since,” Anil told this daily. After returning to camp, he won a silver medal at the Thailand international meet. It was a step in the right direction. A win over Deepak at the National Trials was just the balm he needed. “He had worked hard with the coaches at the camp and I also visit him from time to time. He also used to come to our center in Rohtak,” Anil said. Having ticked the right boxes during this edition of the CWG, Amit is on the right track to recovery as he aims for a second chance at the Olympics. “It was excellent. He’s back in shape. It’s a fresh start,” said Anil, summing up Amit’s golden run. Amit won silver at the 2018 edition in Gold Coast. It really is a new beginning. Amit would be determined this time to persevere and take advantage of this great performance. Minimum Weight, Maximum Yield Nitu Ganghas capped off his superb CWG campaign with another dominating performance in the minimum weight (48kg) category to open India’s boxing gold account. It’s a dream come true for Nitu, who has had his share of struggles (on and off the pitch) in the past. With the victories of RSC (referee stoppage contest) and ABD (abandoned) going into the final, Nitu was warned. And she did not disappoint against her opponent from England. With her immaculate technique and height advantage, she was too strong for Demie-Jade Resztan. It’s a perfect start for Nitu, who looks up to MC Mary Kom. With big shoes to fill, the 21-year-old is looking to gain confidence from this outing and win more medals for the country in the near future. Gold for Nikhat Nikhat Zareen, meanwhile, lived up to his billing to put on another polished show. It is his second consecutive gold medal in the marquee after winning the World Championships earlier this year. Nikhat, like Nitu, dictated the game and controlled the pace of the 50kg bout against Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul. This win should only add more confidence to his boxing abilities. Having been in the background in the past, Nikhat clearly seems to be enjoying the present.

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