Asiad 2018: Boxers Amit, Vikas enter semis

Jakarta: Indian boxers Amit Panghal and Vikas Krishan notched up contrasting victories to enter the semi-finals of their respective weight categories at the 18th Asian Games here on Wednesday.

Both of them thus ensured a spot on the podium for themselves as the losers in the last four stage are awarded bronze medals.

In the quarter-finals, Amit overpowered Kim Jang Ryong of North Korea by a unanimous 5-0 decision in the men’s light flyweight (49 kilogram) category.

Vikas faced a much tougher challenge against Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan of China in the men’s middleweight (75kg) division. The Indian was stretched to the limit by his agile and technically strong opponent before eking out a narrow 3-2 win.

In the semi-finals, Amit will take on Paalam Carlo of the Philippines while Vikas will face Kazakhstan’s Amankul Abilkhan.

But there was bad news for Indian fans in the women’s section as Sarjubala Devi lost 0-5 to Chang Yuan of China in the 51kg quarter-finals.

Amit was far superior for his opponent and dominated all the three rounds. The bout saw a fast opening round with both boxers coming up with repeated barrage of punches.

Amit repeatedly used a low guard in an attempt to draw the Korean in and create gaps in his defence. At the same time, the Indian’s quickness and superior technique allowed him to maintain a strong defence.

The Indian Army boxer continued to beat his opponent’s defence and land punches at regular intervals in the second round.

The third round followed a similar pattern as Amit emerged a deserving 5-0 winner.

Vikas’ middleweight quarter-final bout saw a slow start with both boxers reluctant to be too adventurous, preferring to sit back and size up their opponent instead.

Vikas managed to take the initial momentum when he landed a couple of scoring punches. The Chinese boxer tried to be more aggressive as the round neared its closing stages, but Vikas’ strong defence stood him in good stead.

Vikas however, suffered a cut above his left eye in the final minute of the opening round which seemed to affect his performance for the rest of the fight.

With Vikas struggling with the cut, Tuoheta dominated the second round. Needing a big comeback going into the third and final round, the Indian adopted a much aggressive approach. Both boxers ramped up the intensity and the fight saw an exciting finish.