Amit Pangal returned to action 10 months after his shock first-round defeat at the Tokyo Olympics, defeating home favorite Thanakon Aonyaem in Thai boxing in Phuket on Wednesday.
Panhal, the 2019 World Championship silver medalist, was beaten 4-1 by Yurgen Martinez of Colombia last year in Tokyo. The confidence decreased, the heavyweight boxer (52 kg) took a break and did not participate in senior competitions at the end of last year. He was initially left out of the Indian squad before being included earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Pangal was ahead of the curve before winning 3-2 in the first round. Pangal, however, found his position in the second round. He moved well and was more aggressive, going for his trademark uppercuts. Aonyaem had support on the court, but Pangal dominated the next two rounds and won the quarter-finals 5-0.
Ashish Kumar, who also competed in the Olympics, continued his good run to enter the final. Monika, Govind Sakhani and Varinder Singh were the others who made it to the finals. Ashish Kumar defeated Indonesia’s Michael Roberd Musquita 5-0 in the semi-finals of the 81 kg category.
In the 48kg category, Monika, who defeated two-time world champion Josie Gabuko in the quarterfinals, defeated Vietnam’s Tran Thi Diem Kieu in the semi-finals. Govind lost to Vietnam’s Nguyen Lin Phung in the 48kg semi-final. However, Govind won by split decision 4-1.
Bhagyabati Kachari advanced to the semi-finals with a 5-0 win over Thailand’s Pornnipa Chuti in the 75kg category.
In the weight category up to 60 kg, Varinder Singh won over the Palestinian opponent Abdulrahman Abunab. Rohit More (57 kg) lost to Rujakran Juntrong of Thailand 0-5.