Yadav beats Abaka in AIBA Pro Boxing bout

Noida, June 12 (IANS) Indian boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav hammered Nickson Abaka of Kenya in their AIBA Pro Boxing bout here on Saturday to take a a decisive step towards a professional career.

The 24-year-old southpaw from Bhiwani dominated the six-round middleweight (75kg) contest, winning by a unanimous 3-0 decision, with a total score of 60 to 54.

Saturday’s win also earned him eligibility to participate in the Olympic qualification tournament for professional boxers to be held in Venezuela next month.

Facing a much experienced opponent, Vikas looked totally at ease and in control. He kept a lower guard than usual and depended on his speed and reflexes to dodge his opponent’s punches.

He preferred to sit back a bit in the earier rounds and allowed the Kenyan to dictate the pace. The Indian however, was the more accurate of the two, scoring frequently with quick jabs and the occasional straight punches to the face.

The quick pace in the earlier rounds gradually seemed to have their effect on Abaka and the Kenyan seemed to tire a bit as the bout wore on. Sensing an opportunity, Vikas upped the ante, landing a barrage of punches on his opponent in the last couple of rounds.

Rohit Jain, promoter and president of the Delhi Boxing Association, handed the winner’s trophy to Vikas Yadav.

“This is a great day for Indian boxing,” Jain, who was the host and sponsor of the event, said.

Yadav will now travel with the Indian squad to Baku, Azerbaijan for an Olympic qualifying event which is scheduled to start on June 16. The national squad is scheduled to depart for Azerbaijan on Sunday.

“I was a bit apprehensive as I already had a slight cut on my face and we are departing for the Olympic qualifiers tomorrow. So I wanted to play a bit safely,” Vikas said after the bout.

“I got hit on my injured area initially and it started to bleed a little. So I deliberately kept the pace slow initially,” he added.

“I had lowered my guard today more than usual as I maintained a considerable distance from him and tried to get the better of him by using my speed. I wanted to show the crowd what technical boxing is all about and I guess I was successful in doing that.”

Complimenting Abaka for his tenacity, Yadav said the Kenyan proved to be an extremely tough opponent.

“He was a very experienced boxer. The kind of powerful punches I landed on him, no amateur would have been able to take. I landed almost all my left hooks, which shook him up a couple of times, but he took all my punches and just kept on fighting,” Yadav said.

“The first punch that I landed on him was very crucial. He could not recover after that. I could figure it out by the way he was moving and I took full advantage of it,” he added.

This was only the second six-round bout in Yadav’s fledgling professional boxing career, and the Haryana lad asserted that the win has given him much needed confidence in his quest to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

“It was a very important win for me because it has boosted me up for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers. It was not necessary for me to win but going into a tournament with a win helps a lot mentally,” he said.

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