The Great India Palace in New Delhi was the location for Saturday night’s latest installment of AIBA Pro Boxing action and for the first-ever APB match-up to be held in the country with more than 30 TV stations in attendance, the host-nation boxer Vikas Krishan did not disappoint. The middleweight dominated the latter stages of the bout against Kenyan captain Nickson Abaka, earning a unanimous points win over six rounds and renewed confidence as he heads to Baku for a final shot at Olympic qualification.
Boxing has continued to thrive in India following the success of the South Asian Games earlier this year and the Commonwealth Games in 2010. It was that same year that Krishan won AIBA Youth World Championship gold before quickly establishing himself on the elite circuit, and he looked just as fresh as his footwork kept him out of serious trouble in the opening exchanges of Saturday’s contest, while the home crowd cheered his every punch.
Abaka, an Olympic qualifier at Beijing in 2008, came out harder in the second round and landed some big blows to stifle his opponent’s progress, but ‘Vicious’ Vikas bided his time, seeing off the threat with some patient boxing and quick jabs before the 24 year-old southpaw really found his rhythm in the third. At the same time, Abaka started to feel the pace of the tough six-round format, and a barrage of well-judged left hooks had him shaken, leaving Krishan able to take full advantage.
The final verdict was a unanimous points decision for the Indian who was paraded on the shoulders of his team and will now travel with the national team to the Venezuelan city of Vargas for a final shot at Olympic qualification.
“I wasn’t aggressive enough in tonight’s bout but I know I will be able to work on that in my upcoming contests. This was a very important, gruelling win for me ahead of the Olympic qualifier. I kept my guard well and fought successfully from longer range to deny him any clear shots,” said a delighted Vikas Krishan after his first APB triumph.