Amit Panghal on Friday became the first male Indian boxer to qualify for the final of a World Boxing Championships. Panghal beat Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibbisinov by split decision in the flyweight (48-52kg) semi-final to seal a spot in the gold medal match where he will face Uzbekistans Shakhobidin Zoirov.
Manish Kaushik, on the other hand, lost his lightweight (57-63kg) bout to Cuban 2017 champion Andy Cruz by unanimous decision and thus won bronze.
Panghal and Kaushik’s performances have already made this India’s best showing at the men’s Boxing Worlds. India have only won four bronze medals before this and not more than one medal in each edition.
The duo’s performances that earned them a spot at the semi-finals sealed their places in next year’s Olympic qualifiers with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) stating earlier that those pugilists who win medals at the Worlds will be automatic picks for the qualifiers.