Why Amit Panghal failed to win his Olympics 2021 bout against Yurberjen Herney Martinez

Amit Panghal (in red)
Amit Panghal (in red)

One of India's biggest medal hopes in boxing, Amit Panghal, crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 on Saturday morning. Having received a first-round bye, the top seed struggled against Rio Olympic silver medalist Yurberjen Herney Martinez Rivas of Colombia to lose the 52kg pre-quarterfinal bout 1-4.

Check Out: Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

As the Asian Games champion departs Tokyo, here are three reasons that contributed to his loss:

#1 Amit Panghal used up all his energy in a good display in the first round

With the Rio Olympic silver medalist and the World Championships silver medalist clashing, it was always deemed to be a tough bout for either boxer. And it was visible right from the start as the two flyweight pugilists started the first round with a furious exchange of punches.

Amit went on the offensive with his back hand but Martinez upped his level soon after and started landing some quick blows. Ultimately it was the Colombian who was more intense, but Amit Panghal's intelligent boxing was just enough for him to edge his opponent out in the opening round with four judges voting in his favor.

Unfortunately for Amit, he seemed to have used up all his energy in the first round and had nothing left in his tank for the remainder of the bout.

#2 Amit Panghal looked under pressure second round onwards

With the first round comfortably in the bag, one would have expected the Indian to put in more work in the second round and win it as well. But that was not the case as the World No. 1 clearly looked under pressure for the rest of the bout.

Martinez came storming out of the blocks in the second round and that rattled Amit Panghal. The Indian boxer just didn't look ready for the increased attack from the other end.

In an intense second round, Amit Panghal's left hand went completely missing as his opponent's right hooks and jabs did the damage. The Indian looked increasingly clueless as the round went on.

Just one judge voted for the Indian at the end of the second round and that told the story.

#3 Too defensive approach from Amit in the final round

Martinez's right hand was a huge difference-maker in the third round as a flurry of punches relentlessly kept raining down on Amit Panghal.

The Indian had no answer to the combination punches and failed to provide any resistance. There was hardly any sting in his shots and he looked tired in the face of the onslaught. All the energy and motivation looked to have been drained out from the Indian. Although he made a late attempt to land counters in the final round, they simply weren't enough.

Four out of the five judges gave the Asian Games gold medalist a 9 on conclusion of the round while one even put in a disastrous score of 8. That perhaps sums up Amit Panghal's performance in the best possible way.

Also read: Amit Panghal and Pooja Rani at Olympics 2021 today (31 July): Boxing preview, category, schedule, when and where to watch (IST)

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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