Madison Square Garden win taught Vikas Krishan to handle pressure

Vikas Krishan returned to amateur boxing by keeping his professional career on hold for one last shot at the Olympics.

Veteran Indian boxer and Tokyo Olympics medal hopeful, Vikas Krishan credits his ability to perform under pressure to his celebrated victory at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden last year.

It was the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist’s second professional fight and he was up against USA’s Noah Kidd in a six-round welterweight bout. ‘The Indian Tank’ won by a unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54 and 59-55).

Vikas Krishan believes that his high-profile victory in front of a packed Madison Square Garden will help him keep calm under pressure when he steps into the ring for his third straight Olympics at Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Kokugikan next year.

Vikas Krishan sealed his Olympic spot by beating Japan’s Quincy Okazawa in the quarter-final.
Vikas Krishan sealed his Olympic spot by beating Japan’s Quincy Okazawa in the quarter-final.Vikas Krishan sealed his Olympic spot by beating Japan’s Quincy Okazawa in the quarter-final.

“I have fought at Madison Square Garden and it is one of the biggest forums in the world,” Vikas Krishan told the Olympic Channel.

“The crowd was there to watch me, and it was kind of huge pressure on me. There were thousands of people watching you, and it was live on TV as well.

“But I was able to keep calm and get a victory and the experience is going to help me at the Tokyo Games. I think I can deal with the pressure,” he reckoned.

Vikas Krishan had reached the final of the Asian Olympic Boxing qualification tournament in Jordan’s Amman earlier in March, after sealing his Olympic spot by beating Japan’s Quincy Okazawa in the quarter-final victory.

Reaching Olympic level

Having represented India first at the 2012 Olympics in London, Vikas Krishan has gradually progressed over the years.

And the time he has spent training and in the ring since will stand him in good stead for the boxer from Bhiwani come Tokyo 2020.

“My power, speed, and experience are the main aspects that work for me. That’s why I win fights,” a confident Vikas Krishan said.

“My punching power has grown a lot. If I get a contact with my opponent’s eye then he will not come at me blindly thereafter.

“I have always had speed since my childhood, and I have grown more intelligent and powerful over the years. So, I do not have to now think much in situations as it comes to me automatically,” he explained.

While his successful professional boxing stint so far has helped Vikas Krishan add to his strength, the boxer has also been making an extra effort to improve his mental strength.

I do yoga early in the morning and it gives me power and I have been doing it for the last two years. It has been working well for me,” he said.

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