Boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav, who missed out a medal at the Rio Olympics following his loss in the quarter-finals, has lashed out at the officials governing Indian Boxing for the flop showing. In a candid interview, he asserted that the administrative logjam in Indian boxing has contributed to the poor show.
Vikas went down 0-3 to Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals of the men’s Middleweight (75kg) category, which brought an end to the Indian challenge in the boxing ring at the ongoing Rio Games.
Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) had earlier crashed out of their respective weight categories.
“I thought that on August 15 I would present a medal to my people in India, but I could not do it,” the 24-year-old Haryana pugilist lamented after his bout.
“Our boxing federation was banned, so we could not go out to other countries to train with better boxers. But I am not blaming anyone. I lost because of me. I am sorry that I could not win,” Vikas added.
Indian boxing has been suffering from administrative turmoil for the last four years as the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) suspended the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in 2012 following allegations of corruption and manipulations in elections.
A new body named Boxing India took over in 2014, but was soon dissolved by the AIBA following a revolt by several state bodies. Indian boxing is currently being run by an ad-hoc committee formed by the AIBA.
The sorry state of affairs affected Indian boxing in a major way as boxers were deprived of international exposure which affected their performance. The preparations for the Rio Olympics were also severely affected.
It also contributed to the lesser number of boxers qualifying for this edition of the Olympics. While a record seven men and one woman boxer had qualified for the London Olympics in 2012, only three boxers made the cut for the Rio Games.
Talking about his bout against Melikuziev on Monday, Vikas asserted that he gave a better performance in the opening round, but the judges favoured the Uzbek which affected him mentally.
“After the first round, I felt that it should have been mine. We scored almost the same, but he was given the round. After that I could not improve my play, although I also gave back as good as I got,” Vikas said.
“I always have a problem with a south paw, whether it was in the last Olympic Games or in the qualifiers for Rio. I knew that he would play the second round very fast. There was a lot of difference in power strokes between the two of us,” he added.
“I did some practice against south paws, but in India you hardly find such boxers. There are less than 5 per cent of them. I didn’t find any of my level.”