Hungrier than ever, Vikas Krishan to train with pro boxers abroad
Vikas Krishnan feels training at the Indian national camp will not suffice as he aims for the one remaining medal in his cabinet - at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Fit-again Indian pugilist Vikas Krishan is set to train with professional boxers abroad in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Asian Games next year, saying "if I train in India I will not win a medal."
The 30-year-old, who has recuperated from the shoulder injury he suffered a few days ahead of the Tokyo Olympics last year, feels training with "champions" will benefit him.
"I sparred earlier this week and feel I have recovered fully. My focus now is to get back into the Indian team and become the first Indian boxer to win a fourth medal in the Asian Games," Vikas told PTI.
"My immediate target is Asian Games and the long term aim is the Paris Olympics. There is only one medal left for me to win and that is an Olympic medal. "I'm doing this pro training for the Olympics because if I train in India I will not win a medal," he added.
Among the most accomplished names in Indian boxing, Vikas feels training at the Indian national camp will not suffice and he needs to fight with professional boxers to grow as a pugilist.
"Whenever I go to the camp it has always been one-sided. I haven't won any ties via split decision and neither have I lost to anyone while sparring. I am the number one not just in my weight but all other weight categories, I spar with all boxers.
"For my improvement, I want to train with some pro boxers. When I train with boxers who are better than me, then only I can grow. There is still over a year left for Asian Games and I wouldn't improve much staying back in India because I have already defeated the boxers here."
Vikas plans to return ahead of the postponed Asian Games, scheduled to begin in September next year.
"I want to go for 5-6 months so that I can get my body back into condition and come back into the mindset. And when you stay with champions you adopt the same mentality."
A youth world champion and a bronze-winner at the Youth Olympics with multiple Asian Games and Asian Championships medals along with a bronze in the World Championships and a Commonwealth Games gold, Vikas' trophy cabinet is just missing an Olympic medal and he plans to get that in Paris.
Since his 69kg weight class was scrapped, the three-time Olympian has decided to participate in the 80kg weight division in Paris.
"I will compete in 80kg in the Olympics. So, I want to fight with those boxer who have more experience and power than me and there is no one in the camp with that."
Vikas plans to train in Virginia, where he trained ahead of the Olympics as well, and resume his career in the professional circuit.
"I was just waiting to recover. I have applied for US visa and as soon as it arriver in 15-20 days I will leave. US has pro fights every week so it's not a big deal to get fights there. I will train in USA first but Mexico pro boxers are also very good so if I get a chance I will go there. Mexico will be my first priority."
Reflecting on the past year, the Haryana boxer, who has been out of action since his first round exit at the Tokyo Games, said it was a "dark period." "I had a lot of problems this past year, it was a dark period because I don't get injured often and such a major one happened for the first time.
"I was told it will take six-eight months to recover so I kept thinking I will fight in the Commonwealth Games. But my hand didn't recover in time."
But the former World Championship bronze medallist found a silver lining to his misfortune.
"I was tired of boxing. I started in 2000. In 2012, I took a 1.5 year rest. To prolong your career you need breaks in between. So, this injury went in my favour and I'm hungrier than ever."