Thirty seconds to the final bell of his bout on Thursday, before he caught the big right hand from Sukhdeep Singh, Vikas Krishan must have thought his return to the Indian boxing team was on track. Krishan, who has an Asian Games gold and a World Championship bronze to his name, had taken a break after the 2012 Games. He spent a year completing his DSP training with Haryana Police, got married and, at 22, is a proud father.
Krishan shifted to a heavier category after his return 10 months back. Having won his Asian gold in the 60kg and his World bronze in the 69kg category respectively, Krishan now moved up to the 75kg with the hope of booking a place for the Commonwealth Games.
Eye on the big ones
“Glasgow is crucial for Vikas. He has medals at the Asian and World level. Doing well at the Games will also have an impact on his preparations for the next Olympics,” says Krishan’s coach Jagdeep Hooda.
Making the cut in the middleweight category — home to Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh — was hard enough without any injuries to boot.
And so, minutes before they fought each other at the trials for a spot on the Commonwealth games, Vikas Krishan and Sukhdeep Singh — with gloves already strapped on — found time to share a joke. “Elbow mat mar dena,” Krishan said. The last time the two had participated in the trials for the probables to the Commonwealth Games core group, Krishan had caught Sukhdeep with the corner. The resultant cut was minor, but both made it to the core group. This time around, the aim was to avoid injuries that may force them out of the trials itself.
When they got into the ring, Krishan made sure to keep distance from Sukhdeep. While the Punjab boxer kept chasing his opponent, Krishan skipped backwards in circles, constantly changing directions, never letting Sukhdeep get into a rhythm. He would manage to sneak within range and score off his left cross while the only trouble for him was Sukhdeep’s jab. This has been a noticeable Krishan weakness. He stops throwing shots whenever he gets caught on the jab and switches to a shell guard. An experienced boxer would have made this weakness count, but Krishan got lucky.
Out of luck
Luck would run out half a minute before the final bell. Constantly skipping out of range, Krishan changed direction to the wrong side once and was caught with a sharp overhand right. The inch-or-so long cut immediately began to bleed. It was up to the medical official to continue the bout. The doctor gave his go ahead since the cut was to continued…