Unlike most of the Olympic-bound athletes, who opted to train abroad before the big event, boxer Amit Panghal prefers training in home conditions prior to Paris 2024.

Former World championships silver medallist and a World No.1, Panghal won the 51kg quota place in the only chance he got. He wants to follow his own plans to script success in Paris.

“I will not go abroad. I find it difficult as far as food is concerned. I will train here with boxers from heavier weights because they have better endurance, speed and power than me. If I can handle them here, I can handle my opponents in the Olympics,” Panghal, the Commonwealth Games champion, told Sportstar.

“I would like to do high altitude training, maybe at Shilaru for two-three weeks, to improve my fitness.”

Instead of accompanying the rest of the Indian squad to Bangkok for a camp ahead of the second World Olympic qualifier, Panghal – who had unpleasant experience during a pre-Olympics camp in Italy and performed below par in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 – trained with his basics coach Anil Dhankhar and Cuban B.I. Fernandes (who works at the National Centre of Excellence, Rohtak).

“I had problems with food and training, especially with boxers with whom I was going to fight, in the past. There is no problem, specifically with diet, when I train in India.

“I have been training with Fernandes. Whenever I get a break, I train with him. I had requested the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to let me train in India and they agreed. I was provided with sparring partners.”

His customised training has helped Panghal analyse his game well and find ways to improve it. One such example is his success in cutting down the rest period between two rounds of a bout.

“I have started taking a break of 40 seconds instead of one minute during the training. If you noticed, during the Olympic qualifier I used to get up before the one minute break was complete. The idea was that if I recovered in 40 seconds, I could be more relaxed over a minute during tournaments.”

For Panghal, getting a better start is an area of improvement. “I take more time in assessing my opponents. I am working on getting a good start. I’ve to improve it through my training and see that my whole bout goes well,” said 28-year-old Panghal.