New Delhi: Beating an Olympic champion two consecutive times is no mean feat but Indian boxer Amit Panghal says it's no big deal either as Uzbek 'golden boy' Hasanboy Dusmatov is now a "bit scared of him".
Panghal defeated world silver-medallist and Rio Olympic champion Dusmatov for the first time in September last year, the stage being the Asian Games finale in Jakarta. He repeated the feat at the Asian Championships, ousting him from medal contention altogether with a quarter-final win in the event which concluded in Bangkok last week. Dusmatov came into this edition as a two-time gold-medallist.
"Kuch nahi hai (It's nothing). I think he was a bit intimidated by me this time, his game wasn't upto it," he told PTI with a grin on his face.
"Thoda down tha mere saamne (He seemed a bit down)," he added.
Panghal is having a stellar run ever since the bronze he won in the 2017 Asian Championships. He made the quarters of the world championships that year, losing a close one to Dusmatov.
That was followed by a gold at the India Open in 2018 and also the Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria. A silver in the Commonwealth Games came soon after, succeeded by the gold at the Asian Games in Indonesia.
The form carried on this year too and he won a gold at the Strandja Memorial again before the top finish at the Asian Championship. In between these two golds, Panghal moved from 49kg to the 52kg category.
He had said that the transition would not be easy but if there were any difficulties, they didn't show in his performance in Bangkok.
"You can say that things worked out. Plus the fact that most of the guys I fought were also the ones I used to encounter in 49kg. So, luckily all of us made the transition at the same time. There was familiarity," he said.
He has a packed schedule ahead of him as he gears up for the world championships in Russia, scheduled to begin on 7 September. The event will be the first Olympic qualifying event.
"I have a packed schedule, which includes training trips to Italy and Ireland. Plus there is the India Open later this month (starting 20 May in Guwahati). So it's a good build-up," he said.
Updated Date: Apr 30, 2019 17:10:40 IST