Vikas Krishan: Olympic ring return?

The Indian pugilist cut short his professional stint a few months back to focus on making the Indian squad for the Olympics

By Saurabh Shankar

Vikas Krishan's fledgling professional career is on hold for now.

After two bouts - and two wins - one of India’s most celebrated boxers is back at Patiala’s National Institute of Sports, as he sets a new target: Tokyo 2020.

Contract clause

Krishan originally made the switch to pro shortly after the 2018 Asian Games, with the two-time Olympian signing a contract with a Las Vegas-based Top Rank Boxing in November 2018.

But a clause was inserted into his contract allowing him to take a sabbatical whenever India’s Olympic qualifiers for boxing take place.

So now the 27-year-old is back home from the United States and looking to represent his country once more.

Krishan has been based in the New Jersey city of Newark, working hard to make the necessary adjustments for the pro game.

Under trainer Wali Moses, the former coach of the American national team, the Indian pugilist has got off to a solid start.

In his first professional encounter, the Indian showed off his power with a technical knockout against local pugilist Steven Andrade inside one round.

In his second bout in April, ‘The Indian tank’ faced off against 24-year-old Noah Kidd at a packed Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the clash between Terence Crawford and Amir Khan.

This time Krishnan had to work a bit harder, but still eased to a unanimous victory on points after six rounds of boxing.

Back home

However, a stress fracture in his back forced him to withdraw from a third fight that was scheduled for July.

That was the signal for him to return home from the States and concentrate on winning a place at the upcoming Olympics.

Before turning pro, Vikas Krishan won a Commonwealth Games gold medal

The road to Tokyo and a third successive Games is going to be long for the two-time Asian Championships medallist.

Ashish is now the nation’s premier boxer in the middleweight category; and the nations representative at the World Boxing Championships.

Krishan would look to upstage Ashish when the national trials are held later in the year in order to make the team for the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier in February 2020.

The former Asian Games gold medallist’s other option to gain an Olympic ticket for Tokyo would be by participating and emerging victorious in the Indian Open Boxing next May, as this competition would serve as trials for the final World qualifier in Paris for Olympic boxing.