Asian Games gold medallist boxer Vikas Krishan won the bout in the ring, but lost it later on review in the pre-quarterfinals of the welterweight class, as India suffered a shock at the ExCel Arena here on Friday evening.
The third-seeded Vikas Krishan, who had been given a bye in the first round, was declared a winner against American Spence Erros 13-11 on points. He had led 4-2 in the opening round and 9-8 after the second before he wound up adding another point to the lead in the third and final round as he executed the idea of the coaches to attack more.
The American camp was not happy with the decision and made an appeal for review. The American coach Charles Leverette had said that it was an old story.
“If we don’t clean it up boxing will disappear. There will be a flood and we will sink. I know it and the athletes are sick and tired of it’’, he said.
Spence himself was disappointed, but was quite gracious as he had wished Krishan ‘the best’ and had even hoped that “he wins the gold medal’’.
However, the competition jury reviewed the bout, and altered the final decision to 15-13 in favour of Spence.
“They said that Vikas should have been given two warnings for holding in the third round after a caution earlier’’, said Brig. Muralidharan Raja, the secretary general of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) and the acting Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent.
That explained the addition of four points to the American and the scales tilting in his favour at 15-13. It will be Spence who will fight Andrey Zamkovoy of Russia in the quarterfinals on August 7, but Brig. Raja said that India was lodging a protest.
Gurbax Singh Sandhu, India’s boxing coach, said he accepted the decision. He said he was disappointed, but added that “a rule is a rule.”
Errol Spence had announced that he was turning professional after the defeat, but would now defer his decision and continue with the competition in the 69 kg category.
Even as hope of one medal — as Krishan had also won a World championship medal like Vijender Singh, apart from the Asian Games gold — evaporated in dramatic circumstances, another hope sprung to life.
All eyes on Mary Kom
Five-time world champion Mary Kom was all set to start her campaign in the women’s flyweight category with a pre-quarterfinal bout against Karolina Michalcuk of Poland on Sunday afternoon.
Ren Cancan of China and Nicola Adams of Britain have been seeded one and two respectively in a draw featuring 12 boxers. If she pulls it off against the former world champion in the bantamweight class, Mary will meet the rather inexperienced 24-year-old Maroua Rahali of Tunisia in the quarterfinals.