HAMBURG, Aug 29: Wild card Gaurav Bidhuri today became only the fourth Indian boxer ever to secure himself a medal at the World Championships after defeating Tunisia�s Bilel Mhamdi to enter the semifinals of the mega-event here.
Gaurav prevailed in a split decision in the bantamweight (56kg) quarterfinal contest to make the last-four stage, becoming only the second from the country to do so in his debut World Championship. The only other Indian to have achieved the feat was Vikas Krishan, in the 2011 edition.
Besides Vikas, Vijender Singh (2009) and Shiva Thapa (2015) have been the country�s other medallists at the marquee event of the sport. But they have all settled for bronze medals and it remains to be seen if Gaurav can better them on that.
But there was slight disappointment as well for the contingent when Amit Phangal (49kg), another impressive Indian debutant in the event, bowed out in the quarterfinal stage.
The Asian Championships bronze-medallist went down to Olympic champion and second seed Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in an unanimous verdict, ending what has been a fine campaign for the 21-year-old.
Gaurav took the ring next for India and was on the offensive from the word go. He had his opponent on the ropes on more than one occasion with his combination punches and also left him with a cut on his forehead in the opening round.
It went from bad to worse for Mhamdi after he ended up getting a warning for failing to keep his head up in the second round.
The Tunisian, despite his bloodied face, upped the ante in the final three minutes and delivered some good right hooks but Gaurav had done enough by then to seal the issue in his favour. � PTI