Rating rigged, deemed unfair, says Amit Panghal | Boxing News
NEW DELHI: India’s top boxer Amit Panghal won the score in his high-octane clash against Shakhobidin Zoirov in the 52kg final of the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai was “rigged”. He added that the judges officiating the fight wanted the reigning Olympic and world champion Uzbek boxer to win because of the “influence” wielded by the powerful boxing federations in the Central Asian regions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Panghal, one of the country’s top medal hopefuls in Tokyo, lost a close 2-3 final bout to Zoirov in the flyweight category of the Asian competition on Monday night, despite a very strong performance in the second and third rounds. The controversial decision was quickly challenged by the management of the Indian team but was not accepted by the jury, who refused to review the fight.
The scoring was rigged… the judgment was unfair. I was robbed of a deserved victory. I should have had the second round 5-0, but it was decided in my favor with a 3-2 split decision. Then, in the third, I expected a score of 4-1 or 3-2 in my favor as I was clearly ahead of Zoirov. But the decision went in his favor with a verdict of 3-2. This was done on purpose to make him the champion. Coaches and people who know boxing told me I was the deserved winner. This is why the decision has been challenged, “Panghal told TOI upon his return to India.
Panghal was also not entirely satisfied with the team leadership’s “token” protest. “When the bout was not seen again, the Indian Boxing Federation (BFI) did nothing to forcefully bring up the matter with the jury commission. They said it could not be seen again and it was is all, we accepted the defeat. When Sakshi (Chaudhary) had won and the decision was contested by the leadership of the Kazakh team, the result of the fight was overturned in favor of their boxer (Dina Zholaman). In my case the protest was not even considered. We do so much as a boxer to bring glory to the nation, the federation should also defend us. I believe all three rounds were won by me but I I was declared the winner in one round. A strong protest should have been made and the team management must have made sure that the decision was overturned in my favor, “he added.
Panghal was also upset by the decision of BFI and Indian coaches not to allow his childhood coach, Anil Dhankar, to accompany him to international tournaments. Dhankar is part of the national camp as Panghal’s personal trainer. “If he had been there in Dubai, who knows, I would have come back with a gold medal. The only thing that can cost me my gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics will be the absence of my trainer Dhankar. I want it in my corner during the Olympics at all costs. I am confident to defeat Zoirov with Dhankar to guide me during tournaments. He has known me since childhood and I am comfortable training under him. It is thanks to him that my endurance level has improved and I can fight with the same intensity. and aggression until the third round. If the BFI does not nominate him for Tokyo, I will contact the Ministry of Sports and the SAI to have his name included. Panghal had traveled with the team to three international meetings this year in Spain (Boxam tournament), Russia (Governor’s Cup) and Dubai (Asian meeting) without Dhankar by his side.
“I painfully felt his absence during the Asian meeting. I missed him in my corner during my three fights. Look, at the national camp I was coached by Santiago Nieva, CA Kuttappa, Jai Singh Patil and Dhankar. I learn the art of boxing from everyone. It’s just during international tournaments that I want Dhankar to accompany me and guide me in my fights, “he signed.