It was the fourth assembly between Amit Panghal and Hasanboy Dusmatov, the reigning Olympic champion — the primary because the Asian Games last final 12 months. Both have moved to a brand new weight class (52kg) since and the Indian pugilist was sure that he would face a unique problem in the quarterfinal on the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok.
“We were fighting for the fourth time against each other. Dusmatov has won against me twice but the Asian Games final win gave me a lot of confidence. Fighting in a new category was a challenge but I had made plans with our coaches,” Panghal mirrored on his 3-2 victory on Monday.
“Dusmatov’s main weapon is his left hook and my target was to block that and gather points by attacking. This win will motivate me a lot.”
In the Asian Games last, Panghal had relied on evading Dusmatov’s long-range punches and countering together with his personal mixture of punches. On Monday, the Indian relied on uppercuts and jabs in the primary spherical and the second noticed him shifting away from Dusmatov’s long-range punches.
The Uzbekistan boxer has been identified for his jump-and-punch approach however Panghal’s fast footwork meant he might keep away from the assaults.
“It was a little better display of boxing from Amit today (than the Asian Games final). He was clear in his mind today and quick regarding his tactics. When boxing from outside, Amit was quick on his feet and when boxing from inside, he caught Dusmatov and landed clear punches,” India’s international coach and chief efficiency director Santiago Nieva instructed The Indian Express.
“The best thing was that Amit did not forget to punch the body and connected on both head and body, which must have impressed the judges. In the second round, Dusmatov was trying to hold Amit but he was quick in getting out. Dusmatov tried his left hook in the second round and also used his tactics of jump-and-punch but Amit read that and moved away. It unsettled the Uzbek.”
While Panghal had solely participated in one match in the 52kg class — the Stranja Memorial Boxing Championships — Dusmatov made the shift from 49kg after the Asian Games. The 49kg class is now not in the Olympics. Two of the medallists in the 52kg class on the 2017 world Championships got here from Asia and Nieva believes that competing in extra tournaments will assist Amit.
“He has not competed in many tournaments in the 52kg category. If we see Dusmatov, his built is almost similar to Amit’s and that will not be case with other taller boxers in this weight category. Amit’s advantage in the new weight category has been his fast feet which makes him difficult to target for opponents. And he has the ring intelligence to counter taller boxers. As he competes more in this category, Amit will have to rely on more variations of punches against taller boxers,” explains Nieva.
Chief coach C Kuttappa too has been spending time with Panghal and watched his first bout of the match in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Tu Po Wei, which Panghal gained 5:0.
“In 49kg, most of his opponents were shorter. When we made the decision about changing the weight category, we increased the number of punches during padding sessions and spent time on making him try combination when a tall boxer relies on long punches. Apart from that, Amit has to use body punches and his body movement should be faster compared to in 49Kg and he should know how to move after his punches,” says Kutappa.