Boxers Amit, Manish & Ashish set to return to action in April

Having been part of the national camp in Patiala for some time now, the Thailand meet is a big opportunity for them to try and get some positive returns ahead of bigger challenges later this year.

Published: 25th March 2022 01:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2022 01:00 PM   |  A+A-

India's Ashish Kumar (L) exchanges punches with China's Tuoheta Erbieke during their men's middleweight 75-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

India's Ashish Kumar (L) (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: After being in the background for almost eight months, senior boxers Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik and Ashish Kumar, who were part of Tokyo Olympics, are set to return to competitive action next month. The trio have been named alongside 17 other boxers (12 men, 8 women) for the Thailand Open Boxing Tournament, an event that is scheduled to be held from April 1 to 10 in Phuket. The trip has been approved by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Panghal (52kg) had made a habit of winning and had entered the Tokyo Olympics as one of the favourites (No 1 seed) from the country to challenge for a medal. But what unfolded was a disaster, to say the least. Panghal, who had received a bye in the opening round, had no answers against his Round of 16 opponent and bowed out with plenty to mull. 

Indian boxer Manish Kaushik (Photo | PTI)

Manish's (63kg) run was no different as he also made a tame exit in the first round itself. Ashish had also failed to get past the first hurdle then. Following that miss, the trio had given the nationals a miss and had found themselves down the pecking order due to lack of practice and ranking points. Also, other boxers in their weight categories had upped their game to take their spot.

Having been part of the national camp in Patiala for some time now, the Thailand meet is a big opportunity for them to try and get some positive returns ahead of bigger challenges later this year.

Given that this is an open championship, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) wanted to give an opportunity to everyone. The event will also witness Ashish in a different weight category. Formerly a 75kg contestant, Ashish will be competing in the 81kg category in Phuket.

Indian boxer Amit Panghal (File Photo |AP)

"The (Olympians) are in top shape now, both physically and mentally. We don't want to dwell on the past. We have made it a point to forget about all the negatives and look ahead. We are striving to give our best during the CWG, Asiad and all the other major competitions in the future," Narendra Rana, India men's national chief coach, told this newspaper.

In the women's corner, World Championships-bound Manisha Moun (57kg) and Jasmine (60kg) will be participating in the meet. The BFI felt it would be prudent to send the two youngsters ahead of the marquee event, which will be held in May. The duo had topped the national trials in early March to book berths for the World Championships and Asian Games.

The rest of the Worlds-bound boxers including Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will continue to train at the IG Stadium in New Delhi.

"Since they (Manisha and Jasmine) are young and have not had much international exposure, we thought of sending them. It will be a big opportunity for the two to get some much-needed competition," Bhaskar Bhatt, India women's national chief coach, said.

India Matters


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