Indian boxers need to punch above their weight to bring home medals from Paris

Indian boxers had a fine campaign at the CWG 2022 as they finished second in the boxing medal tally with three gold, one silver and three bronze. However, if one compares it with the 2018 Gold Coast show (then nine medals), the pugilist slipped a bit this time!

The good news is that some young talents managed to impress and could be good future prospects. And bad news is some big names failed, making the Boxing Federation of India a little worried. And why not? Because the federation under Ajay Sing has been working really hard on its boxers with proving all the exposers they need.

Speaking to IANS, a boxing coach on condition of anonymity said that the boxers will have to work really hard if they want to achieve a medal in the Paris Olympics.

“The draw at CWG was comparatively easy. But then also most of our promising boxers failed to have podium finishes. I am not saying that a boxer didn’t work hard but CWG gold is something which gives you confidence that you can do better in Asiad and then Olympics,” the coach said.

“In 2018, our six boxers reached the finals out of a 12-member team. But only four this time. So, we need to work really very very hard,” he added.

Boxing is certainly one of India’s best sports which has brought in multiple Olympic medals. Apart from shooting, wrestling and hockey, boxing has proved to be one of India’s most productive medal-winning sports. Even during last year’s Tokyo Olympics, Assam’s Lovlina Borgohain won a bronze medal for the nation.

Lovlina also became the first woman from the state to represent her country at the Olympics. However, her show in recently concluded CWG has raised several eyebrows. It has been learnt that the boxer has set her eyes now on Paris and it will be good for her as well as for the country because the past glory has become history now.

The BFI will also be working on grooming young pugilists for future events. As CWG is over, now the AIBA Youth World Championships will commence from November this year. It will witness youngsters, both men and women, competing to be crowned the new champions. Initially, it was set to take place in September, but later got postponed. The last edition of the games took place in April 2021. This year it will be hosted in La Nucia, Spain.

The event also managed to produce India’s best result. The country went to the top of the table. They won eight golds and three bronze medals. The young Indian boxing contingent will surely look to ride on that momentum and put up a similar performance this year as well.

A quick CWG post-mortem

Like mentioned above, the future of Indian boxing looks bright as few night stars had great outings at the CWG 2022.

Two-time World youth champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) gave a good account of her fine boxing skills to secure her first major title in Birmingham.

Nikhat Zareen, the World champion in 52kg, boxed with more confidence to win her maiden Commonwealth Games gold in 50kg and put herself on the track to achieve greater glory.

Whereas, Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) gathered a bronze and Lovlina (70kg) exited in the quarterfinals to the shock of everyone.

Gold winner Amit Panghal (51kg) — who went through a low phase after his ignominious defeat in the Tokyo Olympics — and Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg)- made a superb comeback in the tournament. Hussamuddin took home his second consecutive bronze at the Games.

Super heavyweight boxer Sagar Ahlawat, who landed a silver on his international debut, was the surprise package of the event. While Rohit Tokas (67kg) got a bronze medal to boost his confidence, Worlds and Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) lost in the pre-quarterfinals to the disappointment of several fans.

The mix bag might have excited the boxing fans but pundits believe a lot needs to be done before the Paris Olympics.

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