One of the key events expected to add to India’s medal tally at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 was boxing. And seven boxers out of the twelve-member contingent that went to Birmingham have now assured India of medals after qualifying into the semi-finals in their respective weight categories.
There was disappointment for Shiva Thapa whose campaign came to an end in the Round of 16 when he squared off with Scotland’s Reese Lynch and lost by a 4:1 verdict. There was yet another upset in the Round of 16 wherein National Champion Sumit Kundu was outclassed by his Australian opponent Callum Peters.
The other shocker included yet another early exit for Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, who was defeated by Wales’ Rosie Eccles in a come from behind win by a 3:2 split decision.
But there were also some close encounters such as the one involving Sanjeet in the Round of 16 against Samoa’s Ato Leau Plodzicki-Faoagali which he lost by a 3:2 split decision. Additionally, Ashish Kumar’s thrilling quarterfinal against England’s Aaron Bowen ended in a heartbreaking loss for the Indian due to a 4:1 split verdict in the local boxer’s favour.
However, popular names such as Nikhat Zareen, Amit Panghal and Nitu Ghanghas lived up to their reputation and seem to be charting their path towards not just any medal, but the coveted gold.
The first boxer to assure India of a medal was Nitu, who put up such a dominating performance that it resulted in nineteen-year old Nicole Clyde of Northern Ireland abandoning the bout in the third round. Nitu, who is also a gold medallist from Strandja Memorial this year, will face Canada’s Priyanka Dhillon in the 48kg semifinal on Saturday.
Next to confirm a medal was 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin, who defeated Namibia’s Tryagain Morning Ndevelo by a 4:1 split decision in the men’s 57kg quarter-final. He takes on Ghana’s Joseph Commey next.
In dominating fashion, Nikhat Zareen – IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship 2022 gold medallist in the 52kg category – has had an impressive campaign in her debut at the Games, despite a change in her weight category. In the 50kg women’s quarterfinal, she defeated Welsh boxer Helen Jones by a 5-0 unanimous decision to set up a semifinal against England’s Savanna Alfia Stubley.
Panghal also bounced back in impressive fashion after the heartbreak at the Tokyo Olympics. He stormed through to the semifinals and showed technical superiority in each of his bouts. He will now face Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba for a spot in the final but seems determined to not stop anywhere before the final.
Meanwhile, Jaismine, in the women’s 60kg quarterfinal bout, dominated New Zealand’s experienced boxer Troy Garton to win by a 4:1 split decision. She will face England’s Jemma Paige Richardson in the semifinal on Saturday.
Sagar, in the men’s +90kg quarterfinal, defeated Seychelle’s Keddy Evans Agnes by a 5-0 unanimous decision to feature in the semifinal against Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Onyekwere.
With a victory by 5-0 unanimous decision against Niu’s Xavier Mata’afa-Ikinofo in the 67kg men’s category quarterfinal, Rohit Tokas became the final Indian semifinalist in boxing to confirm a medal for India. He will now face Stephen Zimba from Zambia.
All semifinal bouts take place on Saturday.
Indian medallists in boxing CWG 2022
|Amit Panghal (51kg)||Nitu Ganghas (48kg)|
|Mohammed Husamuddin (57kg)||Nikhat Zareen (50kg)|
|Rohit Tokas (67kg)||Jasmine Lamboria (60kg)|
CWG 2018 medallists
|Mary Kom||Women's 46-48 kg||GOLD|
|Vikas Krishan||Men's 75 kg||GOLD|
|Gaurav Solanki||Men's 52 kg||GOLD|
|Satish Kumar||Men's 91 kg||SILVER|
|Amit Phangal||Men's 46-49 kg||SILVER|
|Manish Kaushik||Men's 60 kg||SILVER|
|Naman Tanwar||Men's 81 kg||BRONZE|
|Manoj Kumar||Men's 69 kg||BRONZE|
|Hussamuddin Muhammad||Men's 91 kg||BRONZE|