Mai apne deshwasion ko Olymics mein niraash nahi karunga. Medal leke jarur aunga (I won’t let the people of my country down at the Olympics. Will surely bring an Olympic medal back home)” Panghal told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview after guiding Gujarat Giants to a title victory in the recently concluded Indian Boxing League.
Gujarat Giants, led by captain Panghal, pulled off a thrilling 4-3 victory over Punjab Panthers in a nail-biting final.
“I am really happy that I contributed for my team and guided them to victory. The title win is a confidence booster for me ahead of the major tournaments and the Olympics as well,” Panghal said.
“I have learnt a lot from the league. It was a different experience altogether. Interacting with foreign coaches and sparring with boxers from all around the world helped me a lot. Sparring with international boxers taught me a lot. It was the biggest take away for me from the league,” Panghal, who became the first male boxer from India to win a silver medal at the World Championships at Ekaterinburg in Russia in September 2019, said.
“Every boxer has a different technique and approach when he enters the ring. When other boxers share those experiences and thoughts with you, it helps you to improve your game as well. That’s what this league has taught all of us,” he said.
“I would say this (Indian Boxing League) is a big platform for all boxers, especially youngsters. They can come and learn. Winning and losing is secondary,” he added.
Panghal’s biggest target now to try and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“My focus is now on the Asia-Oceania tournament (in Wuhan, China from February 3 to February 14). The tournament is also the qualifying tournament (boxing) for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,”
“The best part is that my elder brother was also a boxer. He has helped me a lot in my career. Whatever I am today, it is because of his sacrifice. The only thing on my mind right now is the Olympics,” Panghal told TimesofIndia.com.
“I am prepared for every challenge. I have trained hard and had a good year (2019) too. I am sure I will do well at the Asia-Oceania (tournament). All I want is to win an Olympic medal for my country,” Panghal signed off.