Rio Olympics 2016 Boxing India: Vikas Krishan bows out in the quarterfinals against Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan

Vikas Krishan
Vikas Krishan fights during his bout against Melikuziev

India's Vikas Krishan went down fighting to Uzbekistan's Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarterfinals of the middleweight (75 kg) category at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Uzbeki boxer won the bout with a unanimous verdict from all three judges, 30-27, 30-26, 30-26 over the three rounds.

Krishan who came into the bout on the back of two 3-0 verdicts, started well, quick on his feet and with a solid guard, making his opponent work for points. However, he didn't show as much aggressive intent as he could have, and that's where he lost the round, as Melikuziev went for a lot more shots, landing a couple of strong rights to edge the round 10-9 on all three judges' scores.

The second round made all the difference in the bout as the Indian suffered, getting hit multiple times, including a swift right-left combination from the 20-year-old that saw him shaken, as his mouthpiece flew out. The round ended with Melikuziev landing a few more punches, as he ran Vikas ragged. He won the round 30-26, scoring three 10s to the Indian's 9, 8 and 8.

The final round saw Krishan focus on limiting the damage, as he looked to keep the young Uzbek quiet. Vikas needed to land a couple of Hollywood punches in the hope of knocking Melikuziev out, as that was the only way he could have gotten the win. However, his younger and stronger opponent had his measure on the night, as he used Vikas' desperation to counter-attack and land a few decisive right-left combos, securing the win. He got a 30-26 verdict in the third round as well, clinching the the bout 3-0.

Vikas, who had lost to Melikuziev last year in the Asian Championships, was up against the best boxer in the division, and unfortunately, couldn't come up with the goods on the night. That brought his Olympic journey to a valiant end, as he lost out on a medal finish with his loss in the quarterfinals. He proved to be India's best boxer at the Games and almost won the country a medal.

The other Indians at Rio 2016 were Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar, who both had tough draws. Thapa lost to London Gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez in the preliminary round of the bantamweight category. Manoj caused a major upset in his first bout, defeating Lithuania's Everdas Petrauskas, who was a Bronze medalist in London. Kumar, however, lost in the pre-quarterfinals to Fazliddin Gaibnazarov.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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