Star Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) advanced to the quarterfinals with a hard-earned triumph over Mongolia's Enkhmanadakh Kharkhuu in the Asian Qualifiers to be just one win away from securing an Olympic berth, at Amman (Jordan) on Saturday. (More Sports News)
The 23-year-old top seed, who became India's first silver-medallist at the world championships last year, prevailed in a split 3-2 decision after a fast-paced slugfest in which fortunes swung quite wildly.
The reigning Asian Games and Asian champion had to dig deep to edge past an aggressive and energetic Kharhuu.
Panghal was expectedly quick on his feet, displayed a terrific counter-attacking game and his left hand, especially, proved to be effective in the first two rounds.
However, the Mongolian sustained the pressure in the final three minutes in which Panghal seemed a bit off-colour. But he managed just enough to pull through and fetch a divided verdict.
In the evening session, London Olympics bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom (51kg) will begin her campaign for a Tokyo Olympics berth by taking on New Zealand's Tasmyn Benny in the second round.
The second-seeded Indian had received an opening-round bye.
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