In a historic first for Indian boxing, former Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan will be presented the ‘Best Boxer’ award by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for his performance this year, during the world body’s 70th anniversary celebrations on December 20.
"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 Vikas has been training in New Jersey for more than a fortnight to prepare for the season ahead.
Vikas competed in two APB bouts this year. He lost the first but went on to beat Kenya’s Nickson Abaka, placed 8th 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.
He went down in the quarterfinals of the 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 said.
Vikas said he decided to be in US for training to improve his defensive skills.
"I have decided to set small goals for myself. So right now I am focussing 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," he said.
M. C. Mary Kom, during the event, will be presented the 'Legends Award' for her contribution to the sport.
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