Amit Panghal defeated Kiaran Macdonald of England in the men's 51kg boxing final, earning his first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal. This is India's second gold medal in boxing in CWG 2022 so far, with a couple of bronze medals earned as well.
The silver medallist from 2018 Gold Coast began the bout with his guard up, waiting for his moment as he launched a spearing jab to Macdonald's face. As the round progressed, Panghal connected with a flurry of punches as Macdonald struggled with his speed. The Indian dipped low, bobbed and weaved as he reined in combination punches on his opponent while also defending with ease. The judges had little doubt, awarding him the round 5-0.
Macdonald looked unable to deal with Panghal's speed, with a lightning jab getting through the Englishman's guard right to his face. Macdonald needed a bit of treatment for a cut above his right eye, after which he ramped up the aggression. Yet, Panghal had every answer for Macdonald's punches. Incredibly one judge awarded the round to Macdonald, but Panghal had the remaining four.
Panghal evaded most of Macdonald's opening punches, as the Indian maintaned his distance. Macdonald, who won silver at the 2022 European Championships, landed a couple of uppercuts, as he dropped his guard. Panghal took advantage, launching plenty of counter-attacks, but his opponent also made use of his uppercuts and combination punches to connect multiple times as the bout ended. The judges ruled in favour of Panghal, who celebrated another 5-0 unanimous win and his first CWG gold with a salute to the crowd and his usual namaste as well.
Earlier, Amit Panghal made short work of Namri Berri of Vanuatu in his Round-of-16 bout, defeating him 5-0 in an unanimous decision. He went on to repeat that scoreline in his quarterfinal against Scotlan's Lennon Mulligan, assuring himself of a medal. In the semifinal against Patrick Chinyemba of Zambia, Panghal was caught by surprise early on, before improving in the rest of the bout to eventually win by a 5-0 scoreline. "He was aggressive up front and I had to give it my all and used all my experiences to bounce back in the last two rounds. I hope I get a gold this time," said Panghal after the fight.
Ahead of the final against Macdonald, Panghal, who lost to Briton and Tokyo Olympics champion, Galal Yafai, in the 2018 Gold Coast games, noted he'd have to face a tough crowd, saying "I know it will be tough, there will be loud cheers for him but I've to stay focused. Can't let it go this time,"