Amit Panghal became the first man to win a silver medal in the boxing World Championships after finishing runners-up in the 52kg weight category in Yekaterinburg on Saturday. Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov was awarded winner via unanimous 5:0 decision

It was a slow start for Amit Panghal in round one. He kept a distance from Zoirov and surprised him with quick bursts. But was the Indian who ended the round well.

The 23-year-old impressed in attack and defence in round two. He was able to evade what Zoirov had to throw at him and deployed solid 1-2 punches of his own. Alas, it was the third round that tipped the scales in Zoirov’s favour. The Uzbek’s combinations were pitch perfect and Panghal was thrown off guard. Panghal fought resolutely till the end and it was a lot closer than what the result was.

The Olympic champion, who had breezed into the final without breaking a sweat in the tournament, was on the ropes on several occasions during the contest. The Indian, though, can take heart from a terrific run on the back of his Asian Games and Asian Championships win.

Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal at a single edition of the men’s world championship. The past medal-winners at the big event are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).

This time, India was among nine countries, out of a total of 78, which had their boxers in the finals. Uzbekistan topped the finalists count with four boxers. Manish Kaushik finished with a bronze yesterday.