The punches were straight and clean, the jabs strong & powerful, movements crafty and the feet danced with lightning speed as a 23-year-old Haryana boxer grabbed
and seized the moment of reckoning, unsettling the world's undisputed champion in a power-packed 9 minutes thriller.
An unbelievable exhibition of lung power, lightning speed, and ferocious counter-attack was showcased by Indian boxer Amit Panghal as he clinched an elusive gold in the men's 49 kg light flyweight category, by never allowing the reigning world & Olympic champion to settle in.
And if there is any debate on which of India's 15 gold medals won so far has been the most remarkable one in this edition of the Games, Amit's name will crop up as a unanimous choice.
By defeating the overwhelming favorite, Uzbekistan's Dusmatov Hasanboy, who is the reigning world No. 1, world championship and Olympic gold medallist, Amit has shocked the world and achieved something that no other Indian boxer has ever done before.
So much so was his domination that not only he took the Olympic champion off guarded & off balanced but also made him dance to his tunes. Though Amit won by a split verdict, undoubtedly he got the better off his Uzbek opponent in all the 3-round bout landing in more clean punches which weighed more points in his favour.
Not many had expected Amit to win the gold as most Olympic pundits had already written him off but the 2018 CWG silver medalist had other ideas and he looked like a pugilist possessed -- with self-belief and indomitable spirit -- as the reputation of his opponent simply did not matter to him.
Now the big question is: has India finally found its new Olympic boxing superstar in Amit after Vijender Singh had turned pro 3 years back? Amit has it in him to fill in the big shoes of Vijender but he needs to seize the moment again in the biggest of stages and consistently.