New Delhi: Olympic-bound Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) settled for a bronze medal at the Governor’s Cup in St Petersburg, Russia after going down to world champion and familiar foe Shakhobidin Zoirov in the semifinals.
Amit, a world championships silver-medallist, lost 5-0 to the Uzbek, who is also the reigning Olympic champion.
This was the Indian’s second loss to Zoirov after the 2019 world championships. In that event, he had lost to Zoirov in the finals.
Both the boxers are bound for the Tokyo Games, to be held in July-August.
Zoirov had been upstaged by India’s Asian silver-winning boxer Deepak Kumar in the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria earlier this year.
Amit was the lone Indian to make the medal rounds of the Governor’s Cup after seasoned competitors like Olympic-bound Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) bowed out early.
The Haryana lad is being seen as a strong medal contender in Tokyo despite the fact that it would be his maiden Olympic appearance.
The 23-year-old has been a consistent performer for the past three years, claiming gold medals at the Asian Games and the Asian Championships.
He also became India’s first world championship finalist in 2019.