India’s Vikas Krishan, competing in the 75kg middleweight category, failed to put up a performance in the boxing ring in the ongoing Rio Olympics 2016, and accepted defeat from his opponent from Uzbekistan, Bektemir Melikuzev.
With this loss, India's hope of winning a medal from boxing evaporated. Melikuzev, his opponent in the blue corner, showed class from the very first round and maintained a lead throughout. The 20-year-old Uzbekistani pugilist is two-time gold medalist in the Youth Olympic Boxing event, and also the reigning Asian Champion in the middleweight category, and had defeated Vikas in 2015 Asian Boxing Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.
The bout started with both boxers gauging each other and trying to score from body punches. Both being southpaw boxers, they took a few seconds to launch their attack. The Uzbek boxer however, unleashed the first attack with right straight and left upper-cut. The Indian started little late with straight jab but mostly remained busy in guarding his face. The end result at the conclusion of round one went in favour of Bektemir at 10/9 to all the judges.
In the second round, despite cheering from the gallery, Vikas did not go for a full attack but the Uzbek boxer with full of confidence, attacked the Indian with a good straight punches followed by a left hooks which dislodged the gum shield from the Indian’s mouth. Vikas was slow, and gave an impression as if he had no desire to win the bout. The end of the round saw a whitewash in favour of the Uzbekistan boxer.
The third and the last round was a mere formality as by the end of second round, the Uzbek had pocketed the bout by creating unmanageable gaps in points. In this round, Vikas should have gone for a knock-out attempt, but he refrained from doing so and handed over the bout and the possible medal on a platter to the Uzbekistan boxer. The final score was 30-27, 30-26, and 30-26 in favour of Bektemir.
It was not expected that Vikas will so easily give his bout away as he had put up a good show in his all pre-quarter-final bouts. The expectations of the whole nation got a jolt from such poor performance. Presumably, the reputation of his opponent and his previous experience with the same boxer in the Asian Boxing Championship held him back for an all-out effort. The Indian boxers were considered a medal prospect in the Olympics, especially after their performance in the last two editions in Beijing and London respectively, but this time will return to the country empty handed.
First Published On : Aug 16, 2016 22:05 IST