Dharmendra’s movies and homecooked wholesome Punjabi food are the matters that make Amit Panghal happy. But the Asian Games gold medallist and the reigning Asian champion has set himself every other goal to growth his happiness quotient — a medal on the Tokyo Olympics.
And having defeated an Olympic champion — Hasanboy Dusmatov of Ukraine — not once, but twice in his career, Panghal appears to be on the proper avenue.
The truth that he turned into blanketed inside the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) on Wednesday bears testimony to the reality that he is considered to be a medal desire in Tokyo.
Panghal defeated international silver medallist and Rio Olympic champion Dusmatov for the primary time on the Asian Games very last in Jakarta. He repeated the feat on the Asian Championships in Bangkok this 12 months, when he beat Dusmatov inside the area finals and went on to win gold.
“After the weight alternate in the remaining 365 days (he now fights in the 52kg category, instead of his unique 49 kg which turned into dropped from the Olympics application), I’ve fought against many pinnacle boxers in my institution and have skilled in special international locations and participated in diverse tournaments. All of these have sincerely helped to improve my game and my knowledge of fighters,” Panghal instructed The Telegraph from Yekaterinburg, Russia
“Defeating Dusmatov was exquisite. Beating an Olympic champion constantly gives an exclusive form of confidence and helps to degree one’s development,” he brought.
“My purpose now could be an Olympic medal and triumphing a medal at the World Championships will make certain a right away entry into the India squad for the Asia Oceania qualifiers for the Olympics in February 2020.
“I had been working with the coaches (Santiago Nieva and CA Kuttappa) very intently and feature tested myself towards top Asian counterparts for the duration of the Asian Championships. The switch to the new weight category approach I will face lots of recent boxers. I even have watched their films and organized myself for the opposition.”
Asked who has been his hardest opponent, he said: “At the arena stage, underestimating every person is a large mistake. All the top boxers pose a tough challenge.”
Panghal believes he is on the proper track to qualify for the Tokyo Games. “I believe my arrangements are on the proper music and the first step could be to win a medal on the World Championships and relaxed my location in the India squad for the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers.”
Panghal idolizes Vasyl Anatoliyovych Lomachenko of Ukraine. A professional boxer, Lomachenko is now the unified lightweight international champion, having held the WBA, WBO and The Ring magazine titles are given that 2018, and the WBC name since 2019.
Asked if he, like Vijender Singh, desires to turn expert, Panghal responded within the bad. “I’ve now not thought approximately it to be sincere. My sole focus now’s winning an Olympic gold medal for India.”
Panghal started out his boxing journey guided with the aid of his brother Ajay, who was an amateur boxer. Recalling those early days at their village Mayna, in Haryana, he said: “I used to take a seat behind Ajay on his bicycle and accompany him to Chowdhary Chottu Ram Boxing Club wherein I used to train beneath my first coach Anil Dhankar. Gradually, my love for boxing improved and it has become my existence.
“My brother is the purpose I started out boxing. He gives up so that I should pursue the game critically. My parents have sacrificed plenty for me.”
Outside the boxing ring, Panghal likes to listen to Babbu Maan and relaxes by way of looking at Dharmendra’s films. “I love watching Dharmendra Paaji’s movies. I can watch all his movies on the loop. I’ve grown up watching his movies and cherished his combat scenes. I used to sit with my father and be glued to the TV set. Meeting him changed into a dream come proper for me once I received the Asian Games gold.”
Panghal has been supported with the aid of the Olympic Gold Quest and now he’s enlisted in TOPS. “I sense privileged to be a part of TOPS. I thank Boxing Federation of India for presenting my call… As an athlete, I am extra motivated once you have such support from the authorities.”