Amit Panghal has revealed that his focus in the Asian Boxing Championship will be more on knowing his opponents in the new category than going for the win. The Asian games gold medalist also lamented the abrupt reduction in the weight categories by AIBA stating that it will affect Indian boxing.
Rohtak-born Panghal was forced to change his category from 49 kg to 52 kg after his previous weight was amongst the number of categories getting dropped from the Olympics last month. However, Panghal has moved up his category taking the challenge, and would be trying to get more knowledge about the Asian boxers in the upcoming tournament.
"It has been a challenge as you need more power and reach in 52 kg. There has been a lot of focus on this aspect and I have worked on it. As more power is involved, I have tried to gain weight," the 23-year-old said, reported IANS.
"I will be playing in 52 kg for the first time. It is a good opportunity to know the Asian boxers in this category as it is an Olympic weight and it will help me for my World championship preparation."
The 23-year-old, who has already won a gold in Jakarta, a silver medal in Gold Coast last year, and a bronze in Tashkent in 2017, also stated that he would be under little pressure to perform in the new category.
"There is not that much pressure as it is my first tournament in this category. The focus will be on knowing the opponent and I will prepare accordingly," he said.
The sudden reduction in categories from 10 to eight has definitely thrown the Indian boxers off gear just a year prior to the Tokyo Olympics as they scramble to get adjusted to the valid ones. However, although Panghal was of the opinion that it would affect the Indian boxing, he sounded confident that the majority of the boxers would qualify for Tokyo.
"We have really good boxers in those two categories and losing them was not good. I think it will affect Indian boxing but we can't do much to it and so, we are just focusing on to prepare for the new categories.
"Our training has been really good and I think, majority of the boys will qualify. Chief national coach C.A. Kuttappa has made a lot of changes and has trained us really well. The exposure and training has been really great and that is why I believe most of us will be there," added Panghal.
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