Gaurav Bidhuri beat Bilel Mhamdi in the quarter finals of the ongoing World Boxing Championships to assure India its first medal at the event. On the other hand, Kavinder Singh Bisht and Amit Panghal both bowed out of the tournament on Monday after losing their respective quarterfinals.
With his achievement, Bidhuri becomes only the fourth Indian to clinch a medal at the World Boxing Championships after Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan Yadav (2011), and Shiva Thapa (2015). Bidhuri prevailed in a split decision win over Bilel Mhamdi on Tuesday to book a semi finals berth.
What makes the Delhi pugilist's efforts even more commendable is the fact that he was awarded a wildcard entry into the tournament after Bhutan refused a quota berth in the bantamweight category. Moreover, he became only the second Indian to secure a World Championship medal on debut after Yadav achieved the feat in 2011.
Speaking after the fight, TOI reported Bidhuri as saying, "It was a very tough fight as the Tunisian boxer was very aggressive. I had to be patient and tried to wear him down with my defensive technique."
However, Bidhuri is not satisfied with his achievements, yet as he has set his sights on the coveted gold medal.
"My father was the one who inspired me to take up boxing. While growing up he always used to call me a 'world champion'. I want to make his words come true. I would love to create history for India and come home as a champion," he added.
Bidhuri next faces 19-year-old American Duke Ragan in the semifinal on Thursday.
However, it wasn’t all good news for India on the day as Amit Phangal bowed out in the quarter-final stage of the 49kg category to Olympic champion and second seed Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan by unanimous decision. Meanwhile, the third Indian quarterfinalist, Kavinder Bisht's campaign also came to an end with a 4-0 defeat on points to Kim