Explosive combo

Dubai, May 28

Defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg) out-punched familiar foe Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan to enter the finals of the Asian Boxing Championships here today.

The top-seeded Indian defeated Bibossinov 5-0. The Kazakh is a World Championships bronze-medallist and had lost to silver-winner Panghal in the semifinals of that event as well.

Panghal was in top form as he took control with his sharp counterattacks against the defensively weaker Bibossinov. The Indian played the waiting game to perfection — the third-seeded Bibossinov’s plan to dazzle him with early aggression fell flat as the bout progressed.

The world No. 1 from Haryana became the aggressor in the final round as Bibossinov ran out of steam.

Shiva Thapa (64kg) also stormed into the final after a 4-0 win over top-seeded defending champion Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan.

However, tournament debutant Varinder Singh (60kg) settled for the bronze medal after losing 3-2 against Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh.

On Thursday night, four Indian women boxers — MC Mary Kom (51kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Pooja Rani (75kg) and Anupama (+81kg) — had advanced to the finals. — PTI

Sakshi loses final spot on bout review

Indian boxer Sakshi Choudhary has lost her final spot in the Asian Championships after her rival, top-seeded Kazakh Dina Zholaman, successfully challenged the narrow victory that the two-time youth world champion had clinched in the last-four stage. Sakshi had prevailed 3-2 in the 54kg category bout but the decision was challenged by the Kazakh team and eventually overturned. “Kazakhstan’s Dina Zholaman defeated India’s Sakshi Choudhary at the women’s bantamweight (54kg),” the Asian Boxing Confederation announced. Zholaman was declared the winner in the official result sheet that came out at the end of the day’s proceedings late on Thursday night. “The Kazakh team sought a review of the third round, which they felt should have been scored in favour of their boxer. On review, the jury found their contention to be correct and overturned the original verdict,” a source in the Indian contingent told PTI. The bout review system was introduced by the international boxing association (AIBA) in 2019. “She is a bit upset but understands that the fight was very close,” Indian women’s boxing’s High Performance Director Raffaele Bergamasco said. pti

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