Asian Games Gold medalist Amit Panghal and Shiva Thapa will spearhead India’s campaign for the Asian Boxing Championships which will take place in Bangkok Thailand from April 17-28.
Amit will be making his competitive debut in the 52kg category while Shiva Thapa (60kg) will eye a record-breaking fourth successive medal after the duo found a place in the Indian men's boxing team for the Asian Championships, next month.
Panghal had earlier won his 2nd successive 49kg category Gold medal at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria last month and trained in his new weight division in Germany earlier this month.
The 49kg category has been dropped from the 2020 Olympic programme and thus, the Haryana based boxer has been forced to shift his weight category.
Thapa also started the new season on a positive note with a silver medal at the GeeBee Tournament in Finland earlier this month. The former world championship bronze-medallist from Assam has won medals in three previous editions of the Asian showpiece event Gold in 2013, Bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017.
The 49kg category will be represented by national champion Deepak Singh, who clinched a gold medal in the Makran Cup in Iran earlier this month.
The other weights to have been dropped from the Olympic roster, apart from the 49kg division, are 56kg, 60kg, and 64kg. In their place, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has brought back 57kg and introduced the 63kg division.
Due to the shuffling, the 60kg category boxers such as Shiva Thapa and Commonwealth Games silver-medalist Manish Kumar will be moving to the 63kg division.
The women's competition will be held alongside the men's event at the continental showpiece. The celebrated M C Mary Kom has decided to give it a miss this time to focus on the world championships and Olympic qualification.