Mumbai: Former Asian Games gold medalist Vikas Krishnan will be presented with the ‘Best Boxer’ award by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) at the world boxing body’s 70th anniversary gala on December 20. This is truly history in the making as he is the first Indian boxer to achieve this feat.
“In recognition of your achievements throughout the year, AIBA would like to use the occasion to present you with the 2016 AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Best Boxer award,” AIBA President wrote in a letter sent to the two-time Olympian.
The 24-year old boxer is currently in New Jersey, USA where he has been training for more than a fortnight for the upcoming season ahead. Vikas has won two Asian Games medals, a gold in 2010 and a bronze in 2014 and has competed in two APB bouts this year.
He lost his first bout but won the second against Kenya’s Nickson
Abaka in Delhi, which was conducted by the Professional Boxing
Organisation of India (PBOI). Abaka is not someone to be looked down upon as he is currently ranked 8 in the AIBA APB rankings.
“It is a huge honour, but I am not particularly happy because I have already missed what I really wanted this year and that is an Olympic medal,” Vikas told PTI over phone from New Jersey. Vikas, who is also a former World Championships bronze winner, suffered defeat at the hands of Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarter-finals of Rio Olympics.
“I am told I am the first Indian boxer to get such an award. That is a great thing but I cannot say that it makes me very happy because the Olympic disappointment is still there,” the middleweight boxer added. Vikas said he decided to stay in the US to work on improving his defensive skills. “I have decided to set small goals for myself. So right now I am focusing on the World Championships next year. Tokyo Olympics is far off and by that time I intend to have a flawless game. I am training like a professional boxer so that I master the art of defence,” he said.
“I want to build a momentum which carries me through. In 2019 when the Olympic qualifiers start, I want to be the first Indian boxer to qualify so that I get enough time to plan. I qualified too late for Rio, just a couple of months before the Games. I don’t want that to happen again, I don’t want to leave it to the last moment,” he further added. During the event, India’s boxing legend MC Mary Kom will be given the ‘Legends Award.’