Distraught after a comprehensive quarterfinal loss ended his Olympic dream, Indian boxer Vikas Krishan (75kg) said he could not have done better than what he managed against the more powerful and compact Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan.
One win away from an Olympic medal for India, Vikas surrendered rather tamely to Melikuziev, going down 0-3 to end India’s boxing campaign in the Games without a medal.
“I’m really sorry to have let you down. I tried to clinch the issue in the first round. But once he took the first round, it was very difficult to come back, and I almost gave up,” said an emotional Vikas.
The occasion was India’s 70th Independence Day and a win would have assured a medal but with Vikas’ exit, India are in danger of finishing without a medal for the first time since Barcelona 1992.
“I always hoped to earn India a medal on the Independence Day but I failed. I’m sorry,” he said.
Vikas had predicted a tough fight when he set up a quarters clash against the Uzbek when he after his pre-quarters bout said, “I will return with a gold or empty-handed.”
“I could not have played better than this. I cannot play better than this against a southpaw. I was trying for left and right hooks but could not succeed and he dominated.”
Vikas, a rare southpaw in the country, was outclassed by Melikuziev.
“I always have lost to a southpaw, be it world championship, last Olympics or an Olympic qualifier. I’ve always lost to a southpaw. I did train well, but there’re about five per cent southpaw boxers in India, and I’m one of them. So I don’t get opponents of my standard,” he said.
“As I was a southpaw, I had no answer to his blows. I don’t get to train with a southpaw. I’ve requested many times to bring southpaw,” he added.
He further said the banned federation meant lack of opportunity for him as they “did not have camp for last two years and he only had gone to the USA for fitness training.”