India’s veteran boxer Vikas Krishan’s third appearance at the Olympics ended in major disappointment as he crumbled in the Round of 32 against Japan’s Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa in Tokyo on Saturday.
Krishan, who was India’s second boxer to play in three consecutive Olympics, never really got going. The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist has made his way back into professional boxing to give himself one last opportunity to bag a coveted Olympic medal.
Unfortunately, he was dealt a 5-0 blow in the opening round of the 69kg division in a disappointing start to India’s boxing campaign. Krishan also suffered a cut above his left eye during the bout.
As Vikas Krishan exits the Tokyo Olympics, here are three takeaways from his loss:
#1 Passive approach from Vikas Krishan cost him the bout
Vikas Krishan started defensively, choosing the right moments to attack. But that approach instilled a lot of confidence in his opponent, who soon started overpowering the Indian.
Even though Krishan upped the ante towards the middle of the first round, it wasn’t enough. He let the Japanese attack him towards the end of the round and that pretty much told the story of the bout as the Indian never really recovered from it.
#2 Okazawa connected while Krishan failed
It was a tale of two contrasts since the beginning of the second round. Okazawa’s long reach put him at an advantage. Not only did he get openings but he also utilized them brilliantly to land jabs on Krishan.
On the other hand, the former Asian Games champion got fewer opportunities than the local hope and to make matters worse, Krishan squandered most of them. Krishan never looked 100% even when he tried to increase the intensity. The three-time Olympian was a pale shadow of himself and couldn’t connect even when he had chances.
#3 Okazawa had learned his lesson from the Olympic Qualifiers
A year ago, Okazawa was the boxer Vikas Krishan got the better of to punch his ticket to Tokyo at the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifier in Amman, Jordan. On that occasion, the Indian used a smart combination of defense and attack to first tire out his opponent and then land his decisive blows for a 5-0 win.
Okazawa had clearly studied that bout and did his homework well. Krishan started their Tokyo Olympics bout with the same intent. But even before he could assert himself, the Japanese had made his intentions clear. This time he was to be the aggressor and wouldn’t let Krishan escape.
With his unrelenting attack, exceptional anticipation and gifted creativity, Okazawa took full control of the bout and never let the Indian find a footing.
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