Boxing as sport is gaining good ground in terms of popularity in India. After Vijender Singh gave India the first ever Olympic medal in men’s Boxing, we are yet to find another pugilist who can win a medal for India. That search seems to end now with the rise of Vikas Krishan.     

Background of Vikas Krishan

Vikas was born in Singhwa Khas village in Hisar district.  In 1994 he came to Bhiwani along with his father, who was transferred to the city.

Vikas Krishan had made the headlines for the first time back in 2010 when, as an 18-year-old, he won the gold medal at the Asian Games. Before that, he had won the bronze medal at the Youth Olympics and gold at the Youth World Amateur Boxing Championships in the same year. 

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Hopes are high from Vikas to win India another medal at Asian Games in Jakarta.

After moving to Bhiwani with his family in 1994 , in 2003 at the age of 10, Yadav joined the Bhiwani Boxing Club.

Bhiwani – A ‘Little Cuba’ in India where it all started for Vikas Krishan

Cuba is not just famous famous for many things including Cuban Cigars and one of the most controversial leaders in history – Fidel Castro.  

Cuba has performed exceptionally on the world stage in amateur boxing. In olympics Cuba has won 32 Gold medals for a total of 63 medals. 

India has never been the powerhouse in boxing at the world stage but in the last decade, India has started producing some world-class boxers. A large portion of that credit can go to “Bhiwani” – a small town in Haryana that emerged as “Little Cuba in India”.

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Bhiwani Boxing Club – Nurturing Indian’s next-gen boxers.

Credit of creating Little Cuba in India goes to the double Asian Games gold medallist Hawa Singh who set up The Bhiwani Boxing Club or ‘BBC’, which became the hotbed of boxing talent in the country. 

The credit for the success of BBC also goes to the Dronacharya award winning coach Jagdish Singh. His coaching methods, believed to be hard and uncompromising, is the main reason behind the success of the boxers from this club.

However, the real recognition for the club came with the success of the boxers at the Beijing Olympics when two boxers, Akhil and Jitender reached the Quarter-finals and Vijender Singh went one better to win the bronze medal. 

Revisiting the journey of Vikas Krishan

2010- A ‘Medal’-ious year for Vikas Krishan

Vikas won his first international medal which was a gold medal at Asian Youth Boxing Championships 2010 held in Tehran, Iran. Same year Vikas Krishan Yadav  won a Bronze medal in Lightweight category at Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.

He won a Gold medal at Baku in the Lightweight category, at Youth World Amateur Boxing Championships 2010 , defeating Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania, the same opponent he faced earlier in the year at the Summer Youth Olympics.

The Golden moment for Vikas Krishan

At the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, boxer Vikas Krishan won the gold medal in the Lightweight category,defeating Hu Qing of China 5-4.

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A young Vikas at the 2010 Asian Games with his Gold Medal.

Vikas Krishan, thus ended Indian boxing’s 12-year-old gold medal drought in the Asian Games by winning the lightweight (60kg) title. Last boxing gold was won by Dingko Singh at Asian Games 1998.

2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships

In the semi-finals,  Vikas met Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine and lost 15:12 to him, and won the bronze medal in the Welterweight category.

When Vikas Krishan decided to quit boxing…

Just as the Indian camp was celebrating the 19-year-old Vikas’s close win 13:11, against Errol Spence of the United States of America 5 hours ago, came the shocking news from amateur boxing governing body (AIBA) that on a protest from the Americans, the decision was overturned.

The AIBA competition jury went through the bout tape replays and found that Danish referee Lars Brovil had been lax as Vikas was guilty of committing nine fouls but was cautioned only once.

The jury also said that in the second round, Vikas had spat his gum guard, an offence for which he was eventually penalised. Once that happened, Spence was awarded four points and the verdict became 15:13 in favour of the American.The loss was such a bitter pill to swallow that Yadav decided to pack his gloves away for good. He was disheartened to such an extent that he stayed out of the boxing ring for more than a year.

But the boxer from Bhiwani couldn’t stay away from the ring for too long….

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Putting the controversy behind him, Vikas once again returned to the ring.

A year into his “happy and settled life”, Vikas started missing the boxing ring. “Nobody had to tell me,” he says. “I just realized one day that boxing was what I knew and did best. What the hell was I doing wasting my life like this? I had been a boxer for 10 years, and that’s what I was always going to be.”

The return to the ring wasn’t the smoothest. The venue for the national camp, the coaches and core group of boxers may have been the same, but now the scoring rules had changed, the headgear had gone, and the boxing federation in India was in a complete mess.

“In London, I learnt that I couldn’t ignore anything. I had to prepare for every situation.” said Vikas.

The Return Vikas Krishan 2.0

2014 Asian Games

Representing India at the Games held at Incheon, South Korea, Vikas  won the Bronze Medal in the Middleweight (75 kg) category, after losing to Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan, in the semi-final bout.

2018 Commonwealth Games

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Vikas Krishan clinched Gold medal for India in the 75kg category at CWG 2018 Gold Coast by defeating Dieudonne Wilfried Seyi Ntsengue of Cameroon. He won by a 5:0 unanimous verdict against Ntsengue by gaining a competitive edge in each of the rounds.

Vikas Krishan and Future of Indian Boxing : Role of Boxing Federation of India

BFI is planning to send a squad of around 20 boxers to the US to train at the world class academy.

The BFI wants them to get proper exposure mentally and physically so that they are ready in time for the Asian Games, where the competition will be even tougher.

India’s overwhelming success in the World youth women’s boxing championship has spurred the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to focus on nurturing young talent. 

Lesser Known facts of  Vikas Krishan:

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Indian sports fans have high expectations from Vikas at the the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Born February 10, 1992

Height : 178cm

Coach : Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu

Club : Bhiwani Boxing Club

Hobbies : Running, football

Stance : Southpaw

Awards : Arjuna Award in 2012

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