Vikas Krishan heads to US for professional boxing stint

Vikas Krishan feels the hardships of training and sparring with professional boxers would make him physically and mentally tougher ahead of the Olympics.

Vikas Krishan will train in Virginia for two-and-a-half months as part of his Olympic preparations.   -  Reuters Photo

“I will return as a tougher boxer,” said Vikas Krishan, before boarding a flight to the USA early on Sunday.

Vikas will train in Virginia for two-and-a-half months "as part of his preparations for the Olympics". The Government has approved Rs 17.5 lakh under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for this.

The 28-year-old, a former World championships bronze medallist, had switched from professional to amateur boxing last year to give another try to his Olympics dream. He cleared the first hurdle by bagging an Olympic quota place earlier this year.

The primary target for Vikas, a 69kg boxer, is to train with professional boxers in the USA. “I will spar with professional boxers. That will benefit me,” Vikas told Sportstar.

Vikas Krishan: Give me Olympic gold and take my life  

However, there is no certainty about the Indian getting any professional fight early next year.

Vikas feels the hardships of training and sparring with professional boxers would make him physically and mentally tougher.

“Amateur boxing is all about scoring. You have to impress the judges and win a bout. In professional boxing, there is a greater chance of getting hurt as you fight for 12 rounds...Even if you get hurt, you keep going.

“Amateurs do sparring for four to five rounds, whereas professionals spar for 15 rounds. In amateur boxing, you run for five to seven kilometres. In professional, you run for 12-15 kilometres. You have to increase your pain-bearing capacity. That’s how you become tougher.”

Vikas cited his own example. “During the Olympic qualifying event (in Jordan), I had a cut above the eye. Despite that I beat the second seed (Ablaikhan Zhussupov) from Kazakhstan (in the semifinal). An amateur would have gotten disturbed at that point.

“We Indians, when we approach a big event like the Olympics, always think we should not face a Russian, a Cuban or an American in the first round. You don’t find such a mentality in a professional boxer...In the last two years, from the time I changed to pro boxing, my mentality has changed.”

Vikas will be guided by his Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) coach Ron Simms in Virginia. “It’s like a mini-Cuba. There are a lot of boxing clubs as we find in Bhiwani. So I will get to spar with different types of opponents.

“I am planning to return to amateur boxing around February so that I will get four-five months to gain some rhythm (before the Olympics),” said Vikas.

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