Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan assured himself of an extra shot at Olympic qualification in style, beating Kenya's Nickson Abaka in a gruelling six-round contest of the AIBA Pro Boxing fight night on Saturday.
The 24-year-old world No 6 triumphed via a unanimous 3-0 decision even though he was stretched for the entire duration of six rounds in the middleweight contest. Fighting in the bout itself was enough to assure him of a berth in the final Olympic Qualifiers next month in Venezuela but Vikas got a shot in the arm by winning the contest. The Indian pulled off the result just a night before heading to the Olympic Qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan, which start on June 16.
"I didn't want to be too aggressive because I am headed to Baku tomorrow morning and didn't want to risk an injury," Vikas said after the bout.
"It was very important for me to win even though it was not compulsory that I win this bout. But going for an Olympic qualifier after a gruelling win will help me. To avoid any injury, I kept my guard and fought from long range to deny him any clear shot at me," he added.
As per the rules of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), boxers have to compete in at least two AIBA pro bouts to be eligible for the final Olympic qualifiers in Venezuela, which is scheduled from July 3.
Vikas, a former World Championships bronze-medallist, is one of the strongest contenders for an Olympic berth in Azerbaijan event given that his category has five Rio tickets on offer.