Indian boxing ace and Arjuna awardee, Vikas Krishan Yadav will represent the nation for the third time in the Tokyo Olympics, currently scheduled for Summer 2021. The incredible feat makes Vikas only the second Indian male boxer to achieve this after 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Vijender Singh.
Vikas has been training in the United States for the past few months with his coach Ronald Simms. However, the boxer is now back in India and appeared on SportsTiger’s show Building Bridge to discuss his journey, Olympic goals, and the importance of giving boxing its due credit.
Vikas Krishan Yadav is determined to bring the gold home in the upcoming olympics
As the Olympics approaches closer, Vikas remains focused on clinching a gold medal for the country following a successful Olympic qualification campaign. When he competes in the upcoming Olympics, Vikas is determined to prove to the world that boxing is an art. (h/t for quotes - SportsTiger)
"My aim is to win the gold medal for the country this time. I have represented two times but now it is the time to grab that gold. I am going to show the world how boxing is an art and how I am going to make people miss punches and then hit them back."
Vikas said that the Indian team has a nice blend of youth and experience and remains hopeful that they will do well in the Olympics.
"Our team is quite strong. It's a combination of both youth and experience. We are going to do well at the Olympics."
Vikas Krishan Yadav is a gold medalist at the 2010 Asian Games and the 2018 Commonwealth games. However, he has also had a taste of pro-boxing, which was introduced to him by his close friend Neeraj Goyat. On the show, Yadav explained the pros and cons of pro-boxing. Speaking about the advantages of pro-boxing, he said:
"One can earn much more money and respect in the sport of boxing as compared to other sports. You can make a lot of money, you can represent your country at the pro-level and you are always backed by your country at the top-most level."
Elaborating on the disadvantages of pro boxing, Yadav said that getting punched in the face every single day takes a significant toll on an athlete's body once he reaches a certain age.
"The disadvantages of boxing is that you get punched on the face every day. It builds up. After you get to 35-40 years of age, you start forgetting things. Then your voice becomes low. Look at our elder boxers like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Joel Frazier those people forgot everything. You tell them your name and the thing is gone. Getting punched in the face isn't a joke."
The three-time Olympian believes that professional boxing can go a long way in popularizing the sport in India, a country that is obsessed with cricket. Vikas feels that boxing is yet to get its due credit in the country and hopes that the media promotes the sport in the future.
"I can feel that professional boxing can take boxing to another level because in US everyone knows about boxing. In the US there are channels which show boxing while in India there are hardly any channels. Even in the sports columns of the paper, it is all about cricket. I am not criticizing any game but it is only played between how many countries and how much risk is involved? So, you have to compare. But people want some easy work, they don't want tough work."
Though he stressed the importance of popularizing professional boxing in India, Vikas lauded the government's efforts towards promoting the sport at the grassroots level.
"At the grassroots the government is making some fine decisions. They've opened sports centres which are helping the sportsmen like us and other sportsmen who are good at an elite level. They're helping them open their academies and helping them in terms of financial land and everything equipment aspect. India is improving but as you know Rome wasn't built in a day, so it will take time."
Before signing off from "Building Bridge", Vikas shared an essential piece of advice for the upcoming generation. He requested the young and upcoming boxers to shun the use of medicines and unwanted supplements for fast physique and performance growth. Vikas stressed that there is no shortcut to glory and that success can only be achieved through hard work and dedication.