hi INDiA Copyright 2020
Star Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics with a stunning 1-4 loss to Rio Games silver-medallist Yuberjen Martinez, beaten by the Colombian’s relentless attacks and pace in a draining pre-quarterfinal bout on Saturday.
The world No 1 Indian, who was making his debut in the Games and was seeded top, had got an opening-round bye.
One of India’s strongest medal contenders, Panghal was put under pressure by the sprightly Colombian in the opening round itself but the pre-bout favourite ensured that he connected better to claim the first three minutes 4-1.
“They have sparred with each other. In some of them Amit was better than today but in others, it was similar to what happened today. It wasn’t a total surprise because we had seen that this guy is very dangerous,” Indian Boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said after the bout.
Martinez’s pace should have set alarm bells ringing in the Indian corner despite Panghal bagging the first round because the Pan-American champion upped the ante in the second round, working relentlessly on Panghal’s body with his uppercuts.
Panghal found it tough to respond and Martinez’s persistence brought him level with the top star.
“We knew what to expect but our hope was that Amit would…