Amit Panghal lost to world champion and familiar foe Shakhobidin Zoirov in the 52kg men’s semifinals at the Governor’s Cup in Russia (Twitter Photo)
NEW DELHI: Olympic-bound Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) settled for a bronze medal at the Governor’s Cup in St Petersburg, Russia, after going down to world champion and familiar foe Shakhobidin Zoirov in the semifinals.
Amit, a silver medallist at the World Championships, lost 5-0 to the Uzbek, who is also the reigning Olympic champion. This was Panghal’s second defeat against Zoirov after the 2019 world championships. In that event, he had lost to Zoirov in the final.
Both the boxers have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics to be held in July-August.
Zoirov had been upstaged by India’s Asian silver medal-winning boxer Deepak Kumar in the Strandja Memorial tournament in Bulgaria earlier this year.
Panghal, meanwhile, was the lone Indian to make the medal rounds of the Governor’s Cup after seasoned competitors like Olympic-bound Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) bowed out early.
The Haryana lad is being seen as a strong medal contender for the Tokyo Games despite the fact that it would be his maiden Olympic appearance.
The 23-year-old has been a consistent performer for the past three years, claiming gold medals at the Asian Games and the Asian Championships.
He also became India’s first world championship finalist in 2019.