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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Boxer Amit Panghal Loses in Round of 16 Against Yuberjen Martinez

Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) bowed out of the Olympics with a stunning 1-4 loss to Rio Games silver-medallist Yuberjen Martinez, beaten by the Colombian's relentless attacks and pace in the pre-quarterfinals on Saturday. The top-seeded Indian, who was making his debut in the Games, had got an opening-round bye.

Panghal was put under pressure by the sprightly Colombian in the opening round itself but the Indian ensured that he connected better to claim the first three minutes 4-1. Amit Panghal could not hold on to that pressure as one of the surprises of the games takes place. Yuberjen Martinez ranked 18 in the world lost the first round as Amit looked at his best. Amit, the silver medalist from Rio looked confident after the first round. However, Yuberjen Martinez had something else in his mind as Panghal changed his tactics inexplicably in the second round and became too defensive, maybe hoping to make Martinez Rivas work hard for points so as to tire down the Colombian.

The defensive approach from the Indian did not work well and Martinez was awarded the second round. Amit, 25, was on the back foot again in the final round against an explosive Martinez, who left no opportunity to land a combination of punches. With his guard up at all times, Amit’s extremely defensive strategy failed to impress the judges as Martinez, on the other hand, was successful in landing more punches again.

In the third round, Martinez brought out his best game to pull off a surprise victory over the World No.1. With Amit’s exit, four out of five Indian men boxers have left the Tokyo Games. Four judges voted in the favour of Martinez, putting Amit Panghal’s Tokyo 2020 campaign to an early end.


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