Gaurav Bidhuri’s inspiring streak at the World championships ended in the semi final against America’s Duke Ragan as the Delhi boy lost in the bantamweight category (56kg) by a unanimous 0-5 decision. The bronze makes Bidhuri only the fourth Indian pugilist to win a medal at the championships.
The 24-year-old boy from Delhi had been suffering for almost six months with a back injury and had to go through a lot of pain and struggle to make his dream debut at the AIBA World Boxing Championships. He would be happy to return home with a medal despite losing in the semi finals of the bantamweight category (56kg).
After the game he said, “I was determined to create history. My coaches and teammates have been really helpful, they have seen the pain I am going through and have helped me in every step. I want to dedicate this medal to my dad.”
Bidhuri became only the fourth Indian to ever win a medal at the global meet, although coming up against another debutant and a far less experienced Ragan demanded a win from the Indian boxer. He looked surprised by Regan’s change in style and failed to utilize his experience intelligently succumbing to Ragan’s copybook jabs and counter punches.
Speaking after the game, Bidhuri told TOI, “I was really surprised by the way he completely changed his game. We had analyzed his previous bouts and wins over Cuban and Chinese boxers, but he was much more subdued against me which caught me off guard.”
Both the debutants had progressed to the semis following some impressive displays against tournament favorites. And with prior World Series Boxing experience under his belt, Bidhuri was the more seasoned of the two. However, he lost the bout 0-5, with all the five judges scoring 30-27 in Ragan’s favour.
No other boxer managed to win a medal from the Indian camp. While debutants Amit Phangal (49kg) and Kavinder Singh Bisht (52kg came close, they lost in the quarterfinals. Asian Championships bronze-medalist, Phangal, showed a glimmer of hope for the county but lost to Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan.
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