Ekaterinburg (Russia): The Indian juggernaut seemed unstoppable as four boxers, including Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52kg), advanced to the quarterfinals with impressive victories to round off an all-win outing at the World Men’s Championships here, Tuesday.
Second seed Panghal was joined by Asian silver-winner and fifth seed Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) and the debutant duo of Commonwealth Games silver-winner Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Sanjeet (91kg).
Amit Panghal defeated Turkey’s Batuhan Citfci, while Manish Kaushik stunned fourth-seeded Mongolian Chinzorig Baatarsukh, who is an Asian Games silver medallist and also a two-time medal-winner at the Asian Championships. Both the Indians claimed 5-0 victories.
Sanjeet (91kg) then caused another massive upset by defeating second-seeded Uzbek Sanjar Tursunov 4-1 who is a bronze medallist from the previous World Championships besides being an Asian Games silver-winner.
In the evening session, Kavinder Singh Bisht defeated Finland’s Arslan Khataev 3-2 to claim a second successive quarterfinal spot at the marquee tournament. If all the four reach the semifinals they will be assured of medals.
Amit Panghal will next be up against Filipino Carlo Paalam, whom he had beaten in the semifinals of the Asian Games in Jakarta last year. Paalam defeated Korea’s Jo Sehyeong in a unanimous verdict in his pre-quarterfinal bout.
Kaushik will square off against Brazil’s Wanderson de Oliveira, Sanjeet will be up against seventh-seeded Julio Cesa Castillo Torres of Ecuador while awaiting Bisht in the last-eight stage is fourth-seeded Englishman Peter McGrail, a former gold medallist at the European Championships and reigning Commonwealth Games champion.
“It was a good bout as I fought against an experienced boxer. I will be ready with my strategy for Paalam tomorrow. I dedicate this win to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is celebrating his 69th birthday today,” Panghal said after the bout.