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Tokyo Olympics: World No. 1 boxer Amit Panghal makes sorry exit | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

August 1, 2021

It was a total anti-climax. Not expected at all. Early in the morning in India, there was shocking news from Tokyo. What transpired in the men’s 52kg pre-quarterfinal bout between India’s prime medal hope Amit Panghal and Colombia’s Martinez Rivas, a silver medallist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, was what worst dreams are made of.
The Indian boxer just froze after the first round, in which he dominated his rival. His hands didn’t move, as if someone had chained them. His movement inside the ring was slow, as if his feet had got stuck in cement. Most importantly, it seemed, his mind wasn’t willing.
Agreed, he was up against the Rio silver-medal winner, but Amit too was the world No. 1 in his category. He knew beforehand that he was in scrap, a fight that would challenge him. What was disappointing for Indian boxing fans was the sheer lack of intent in the second and third rounds. Bluntly put, he backed away when the entire wanted him to step up.

It resulted in a 1-4 loss to Colombia’s Martinez Rivas at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan arena and snuffed out the chance of a medal for the country.
As soon as the bell rang, there was a furious exchange of punches between the two boxers in the first round. Amit began aggressively with his back hand but Martinez upped the ante soon after, landing some quick blows. The Colombian showed big-match intensity, but Amit was intelligent with his defending and also connected better to earn points. The Indian’s performance saw four judges voting in his favor.
Unfortunately for Amit, he seemed to have used up all his energy in the first round and had nothing left in his tank for the remainder of the bout.
With the first round in the bag, it was expected that Amit would put in more work in the second and try to clinch it as well. But that was not the case as the world No. 1 went on the defensive, which handed over the advantage to the Colombian and Amit stayed under the cosh for the rest of the bout.
Amit’s left hand went completely missing in the second round. But Martinez was on target and his right hooks and jabs did most of the damage. The Indian looked increasingly clueless as the round went on. Just one judge voted for Amit at the end of Round 2.
Martinez was relentless and kept raining down punches on Amit in the third round as well. The Indian had no answer to the Colombian’s aggression and failed to provide any resistance. There was hardly any sting in Amit’s punches and he looked tired in the face of the onslaught. Although he made a late attempt to counter-attack in the final round, but it simply wasn’t enough.
No medal for Pooja
After Lovlina’s quarterfinal win on Friday, Pooja Rani too was expected to get in a medal for the country by winning her last-8 encounter against China’s Li Qian, a former world champion and bronze-medallist from the Rio Games. But, it was not to be.
Li dominated Pooja and gave her opponent a lesson in tactical boxing, winning the bout 5-0 to enter the semifinals. Li literally toyed with Pooja and hardly broke a sweat in any of the three rounds.

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