For Indian pugilist Amit Panghal to adjust to the change of weight category from 49kg to 52kg to be able to compete in the Olympics needs him to work on his power, endurance and reach. The 24-year-old will next take part in the Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan, China in February next year.
For Indian pugilist Amit Panghal, the change of weight category to be able to compete in the Olympics is turning out to be the biggest challenge inside the ring. Having graduated from 49kg to 52kg, the energetic boxer is aiming to give his best in preparing for the big events which involve a lot of practice.
“Practice is very important. The confidence which I get from practice helps me prepare well. I am mentally more prepared if I practise well. If we practise well then we will know how well we are prepared in front of our opponents. How we will play against them on the ring depends on our practice,” he said to Sportstar
Panghal put on a valiant effort but lost the intense 52kg final 0-5 against Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov to settle with a historic silver, which was the first-ever won by a male Indian boxer at the World Boxing Championships. He feels he need to work on “power, endurance and reach.”
“All opponents in my weight category are tall. Our strategy worked well till some extent but I felt I lacked power against Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion. I need to practise more on power, endurance and reach. Against those who are the same height as me, I have to play with more power. [I] cannot play defensive and close.”
Panghal shared his views on the improvement he has brought upon himself since changing his category.
“I have definitely improved a lot in my weight category. I have worked on my power and reach. Earlier my attack was only of one or two punches. My game was about defence first then counter and more of single punches. We have added a lot of power in my punches, in counter-punches there is more coordination now. Basically, I have added multiple punches in my game because one can save oneself from a single punch but not from two, three or four. Points can be earned by attacking continuously.”
According to Panghal his transition from 49kg to 52kg has been smooth as he got a lot of time to prepare but he still needs to work on power and reach as the boxers in this category are taller than him. He believes Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are his main competitors in the category.
He is preparing for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers by improving his power game which he believes he lacks in the final round of the bouts. The 24-year-old is excited to take part in the upcoming boxing league which will help Indian boxers as the “strategies of various International boxers can be watched.”
Panghal was all praise for his coach Santiago Nieva and revealed his training techniques which have helped Panghal overcome opponents.
“I have learnt a lot from all my coaches. Santiago trains very well. His training schedule is very unique from others. For example, earlier we used to work on one thing once in a week and on the contrary now we repeat that one single technique the whole week in every training session. Then the next week he will make us work on a new technique for the whole week. By the time competition comes we will be well trained in all our techniques. And for final bouts, we all watch videos to plan the game according to the next opponent,” he said.
Panghal gave an in-detail view of his boxing technique where his “main game” is a counter-attack.
“In the first round, I observe my opponent’s playing style, if he is playing counter or aggressive then I play accordingly. My main game is counter-attack. However, I always observe how my opponent is playing then we make the strategy accordingly and play on those lines. I wait for my opponent to play his game, basically study it, is he playing defensive, aggressive or counter?”
Panghal is now Subedar in the army and he has assured that army has freed the sportspersons and help them make the country proud. He will next take part in the Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan, China in February next year.
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