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Vikas Krishan wins first pro bout, keeps Rio 2016 hopes alive

Despite the two opportunities to win an Olympic berth, the road ahead is challenging for the Asian Games medallist.

other sports Updated: Jun 11, 2016 23:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Vikas Krishan,Nickson Abaka,Azerbaijan
India's Vikas Krishan (right) in action against Kenya's Nickson Abaka during the AIBA Pro Boxing Night in Noida on Saturday. Vikas beat Abaka by a 3-0 verdict.(PTI)

As clouds started to gather on Saturday evening, the organisers of the AIBA Pro-Boxing Night had no option but to bring forward the middleweight bout featuring Vikas Krishan and Kenya’s Nickson Abaka.

Vikas looked upwards in prayer, hoping to stay in the race for the Rio Olympics. The Indian’s wish came true as he won his first pro bout with a 3-0 verdict.

The result opened a window for him to compete at the July 3-8 APB-WSB Olympic qualification tournament in Vargas, Venezuela. Before that, Vikas will fly out on Sunday for the June 16-25 AIBA World Olympic qualification event at Baku, Azerbaijan.

Despite the two opportunities to win an Olympic berth, the road ahead is challenging. “In Vikas’s weight category, there are only five Olympic quota places in Baku, while the top-three boxers will get a chance to compete in Rio via the Venezuela competition. It’s not easy,” said chief national coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu.

Keeping in mind the task, Vikas began the six-round fight on a cautious note as he was nursing an injury on the left eye. After the win, he claimed he didn’t go all out because the target was to win and not knock out his rival.

“The strategy was to keep away from my rival in the opening three rounds and then catch up in the last two,” he said.

First Published: Jun 11, 2016 22:33 IST