It was a gloomy Friday for India at the Rio Olympics 2016, the only bright spot coming in the form of boxer Vikas Krishan making it to the quarter-final of the 75-kg middleweight boxing, defeating his Turkish counterpart Onder Sipal in the process.
Right at the beginning of the first round, Krishan landed a stunning left cross on the right eye of his opponent, leaving the southpaw bleeding and needing ringside intervention from the doctor. Right from that moment on, the signs were ominous of it being a possible win for Krishan, and the boxer from Haryana left no stone unturned to ensure it becomes so.
The first round was certainly in Krishan's pocket. Once the game resumed following the doctor's intervention, Krishan continued with the left-right combination punches with an occasional upper cut to keep the Turkish boxer busy and to save an early termination of the bout by a short cut.
The second round was no different; Simpal tried to make a comeback and tried hard to score a few points off Krishan, but the Indian kept scoring with his straight jabs and crosses. The Turkish boxer was cautioned by the referee time and again as he was bending his head to evade Krishan's punches.
Krishan was moving freely and scoring at ease, and at the end of the second round, he was winning the tie comfortably according to all judges.
The third round began in similar fashion, with Vikas attacking the Turkish boxer on the same spot on the left eyebrow, although Sipal did manage to guard his wound from further damage. The Indian, taller by couple of inches, kept his counterpart at a distance by using his longer reach. The Turkish boxer made number of unsuccessful attempts to get the Indian within his reach for landing scoring blows.
Throughout the bout, Krishan never allowed the Turk to take a lead role in the ring and kept hitting him with jabs and combination punches. The Indian camp at the boxing stadium was happy to have watched a good performance, on an otherwise disappointing day for India.
Vikas Krishan won the bout with a unanimous 30-27,29- 28,29-28 decision. With the win, he reached the quarter-final stage and is just one fight away from winning an Olympic medal. However, the best part about his performance was the manner in which he ensured he was never at the receiving end at any point of time, dominating the proceedings throughout.
With Manoj Kumar also still in the reckoning, in the 64-kg welterweight division, the signs of India's pugilists returning from Rio with a medal look rather bright at the moment.