Few arenas in the world can match the grandeur and fame of Madison Square Garden (MSG). It was here that Mohammed Ali fought some of his most famous bouts and, from the more recent past, Narendra Modi announced his arrival as PM of India on the global stage.
While his fame may not match that of these two personalities, Vikas Krishan had his moment in this iconic building on April 20. The stage was set for the title bout between Amir Khan and Terrence Crawford in the WBO welterweight category. As part of the undercard, Krishan, another product of Indian boxing's most fertile land – Bhiwani – took on Noah Kidd of USA in the same weight category. The 27-year old registered an impressive victory when the judges unanimously declared him the winner. This six-round bout ended with the three judges scoring the match 60-54, 60-54, 55-59 in favour of the Indian.
The Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist has followed the path of his illustrious colleagues like Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar by turning pro after a very fruitful career in amateur boxing. He signed up with Top Ranks – a famous boxing brand led by renowned promoter Bob Arum – in late 2018. His first contest in the pro circuit was against another American, Steve Andrade, in January 2019. The Haryana-based boxer won through a Technical Knock Out in only the second round of that contest.
After his victory, 'The Indian Tank' – as Krishan has come to be called – expressed satisfaction with the outcome. "The experience of fighting at Madison Square Garden was very good. I was happy and excited before the fight but also a bit nervous at the same time," he said. But the boxer also added that he is far from a finished article as a pro boxer. "My coach said that I have the power to knock down the guys, but I need to work on a few crucial aspects which will take time because I've been fighting amateur all my life."
With Vijender Singh already having made a big impact after turning pro and other boxers also registering success, Indian boxing seems to have a bright future. In fact, Singh has been, for some time, considered a possible future challenger for the man who featured in the main event of the night – Amir Khan. But while that contest may or may not materialise, the rise of Krishan, if it continues unabated would provide another inspirational story to young Indian pugilists.