The World No.1 in his category will be in peak form heading into the extravaganza.
An Olympic medal is no walk in the park. It needs grit, technique, ability and years of hard work to rise up on the podium. As Tokyo 2020 approaches, expectations from individual athletes are on the rise. Indian boxer Amit Panghal has emerged as one of the key names in that regard.
The Haryana-born boxer is among nine Tokyo-bound pugilists to have punched their tickets for the upcoming Games through Asian Boxing Olympic Qualifiers in Amman. He had beaten Philippines’ Carlo Paalam in the men’s 52kg category quarter-finals.
Over the years, Amit Panghal has emerged as one of the finest names in the Indian boxing ecosystem and has been touted as an Olympic medal prospect.
Let us have a look at what makes the 25-year-old so special:
Amit was born in Rohtak, Haryana. His father is a farmer but his brother Ajay, now with the Indian Army, played a key role in drawing his interest as a boxer. Ajay was an amateur boxer himself and it drew Amit to the discipline. He would then go on to cut his teeth in the sport at the Sir Chhotu Ram Boxing Academy in 2007.
It was, however, only in 2017 that Panghal made his boxing debut at the Nationals. And his still growing career has already seen him bag a World Championships silver medal, Asian Games gold, second podium finish at Commonwealth Games, besides two (bronze and gold) Asian Championships medals.
Technique and its benefit
Panghal plays against the odds every time he steps into the ring. Bigger men have an advantage over him, as he stands only 5 feet two inches short. He, however, knows how to adapt his game accordingly.
He has often allowed opponents to take shots at him. This leads to draining their energy. Panghal, on the contrary, often looks to make quick movements in the ring to keep the opponent inside his punching radius.
His punch often hits his opponents low, where they have have not anticipated, which gives Panghal an edge. Interestingly, in his category, most of his opponents are taller than him and the first Indian boxer to reach the finals of the Men’s World Championships has been nicknamed ‘Chotta Tyson’ in the national circuit.
At Tokyo 2020, the youngster will be expected to give his best-ever performance to bring home a much-anticipated medal.