For Amit Panghal, ‘Big Bout’ league is a build-up for Olympic qualifier

World championships silver medallist Amit Panghal is using the inaugural Big Bout Indian Boxing League as a preparatory event for the Asian Olympic qualifier to be held in Wuhan, China, in February.

Even while donning the Gujarat Giants colours in Big Bout in Delhi, Panghal is focused on the bigger task at hand. “The main aim was to treat this (Big Bout) as a training exposure and open up for the bigger competition (Olympic qualifier). I am getting different types of opponents, including a few from overseas. This kind of experience is going to be very helpful in my preparations for the Olympic qualifiers,” Panghal told The Hindu.

Asked if he would like to turn professional at a later stage of his career, Panghal said, “Right now I have not thought about that. I will continue as an amateur boxer till the Olympics. After that, if I feel it’s good, I may switch to professional boxing.”

Panghal said he had been working on improving his game ahead of the Wuhan test. “I need to work on my game a little bit, especially on speed and reach (to tackle taller boxers). I focused on these areas before coming here. I have to be more than 100 per cent prepared for the Olympic qualifier. After the Big Bout, I will go back to training to fine tune these areas.

“Don’t know about the events we are going to have after the Big Bout. If I get one competition outside the country, then it will be good for me in the run-up to the qualifier.”

The Military World Games in Wuhan earlier this year was a rare event from where Panghal returned empty handed. However, he looked at the brighter side. “I can’t say much about the departmental games. These boxers (like the one who beat me) don’t know much about technique. The opponent was not a difficult one to handle. I beat him 5-0 on an earlier occasion. I will think about it because I may meet him again in future.”

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