"Nothing less than a gold if I get past Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarterfinals," India's Vikas Krishan has said it categorically, therefore, asserting once again the importance of their clash in the boxing ring. The Indian middleweight boxer takes on the strong and experienced Uzbekistan opponent in the quarterfinals of the men's 75kg boxing event at the Rio Centro Pavilion on Monday.
Three Indian boxers had made it to Olympics 2016 and Manoj Kumar as well as Shiva Thapa have already been knocked out, leaving Vikas as the only hope for a medal for the country from the mega sporting event.
Bektemir finished second at the World Championships in Doha last year and is seen as one of the toughest middleweight boxers currently. The Uzbek pugilist and Vikas met last year at the Asian Championships in Bangkok, where Bektemir earned a comfortable victory. This time however, Vikas has mentioned that he is ready to take on Bektemir for one more time and level the head to head scores.
"I lost to him [Bektemir] (at the Asian Championships) in a very close bout. The score was 2-1 and I lost one of those points due to a warning. I made mistakes in the past when I fought against him, now I have to concentrate on my speed," said Vikas to ESPN.
"Now I am fully fit, at that time I was not in great shape because the Asian Championships wasn't a major competition as I was preparing for the World Championship. If the guy had fought me in the World Championship, I would have beaten him. Now I am in full form and can beat him. I have been playing competitions continuously.
"We have competitions every month and those have been good. The training sessions have also been good. So I don't feel so much pressure coming into this competition. The Olympics is a great stage and everybody knows that India is hoping for a medal from me. I am surely going to do that," the 24-year-old said with full confidence.
Rio 2016 boxing: Vikas Krishan vs Bektemir Melikuziev is scheduled for a 3:30 a.m. IST (Tuesday) [11 p.m. BST, 6 p.m. EST) start on Aug. 15.
Where to watch live
India: TV: Star Sports Network, DD National. Live streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four. Live streaming: BBC Red Button.
USA: TV: NBC Sports. Live streaming: NBC Olympics.