Earlier this evening we saw Indian hopeful Vikas Krishan (1-0, 1), dubbed the "Indian Tank" make his professional boxing debut, and it was a successful one as he halted American foe Steven Andrade (3-4, 2) in the second round.
From the opening seconds Krishan was applying constant pressure behind his southpaw stance, landing some solid jabs and forcing Andrade on to the back foot. At times in the opening minute or so Andrade did throw something back but as the opening round went on Krishan began to find the range for his southpaw left hand.
By the end of the opening round it seemed like Krishan had really gotten rolling and he refused to let off in round 2, eventually forcing the referee to save Andrade as shots came his way. By that point it was clear that there was such a gulf in skill that Andrade didn't have what was needed to be competitive with the Indian debutant.
Although it's early to day, and there is clearly a lot of work to do with Krishan, the Indian prospect looked good but Andrade really wasn't up to much and seemed to lack any ambition to even make this a difficult debut.
Krishan does appear to a big hope, and Top Rank are clearly looking to build him into the figure head for the Indian market, but it could be a few years before we see him in a really meaningful fight, given the way Top Rank don't usually tend to rush fighters. Still this was a good debut, and he is certainly one to watch.
Later today we'll see former Indian amateur stand out Vikas Krishan (0-0) make his professional boxing debut, as he takes on American foe Steven Andrade (3-3, 2).
Yesterday the two men took part in the weigh in for their bout, and move men came in between the Welterweight and Light Middleweight limits.
On the scales Vikas was the heavier man, coming in at 152lbs whilst Andrade was slightly lighter at 151¾lbs.
The bout is expected to be a straight forward win for Vikas, who is regarded as a top prospect an a huge star of the future for Indian boxing. Andrade on the other hand has lost his last 3 and is without a win since stopping Michael Walker back in February 2016.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
In November Top Rank announced that they had signed Indian star Vijender Singh (10-0, 7), who has been inactive since December 2017. Over the last few days we have been informed that the plan is for Singh's first fight under Top Rank is to come in either late February or early March and is expected to be held at Madison Square Garden.
At the moment their is no opponent set for Singh, though the expectation is that it will be someone limited as Singh needs to desperately shake off some ring rust.
Given the timing of his US debut it's expected that Singh will share a card with fellow Top Rank promoted Indian fighter Vikas Krishan Yadav (0-0), who will be making his debut on January 18th. It's also assumed likely that Top Rank will do their best to work Singh into a world title fight sooner rather than later, knowing that Singh is now in his 30's and won't have a career that will last too many more years.
An announcement on Singh bout is expected later this month, and will be massive news in India, given how big of a star the unbeaten fighter is. His TV audience and potential fan base is massive and Top Rank will want to make that huge news when they announce it.
We know that Vikas will make his professional debut in January, and although it's not been officially confirmed it does seem likely that Singh could be on the same card, as it would give both Indians a chance to shine in early 2019.
The signing of Singh perhaps suggests that Top Rank have got big plans for him on a personal level, as well as seeing him as a key figure in the growth of the Indian professional boxing scene, and he may well find himself in the mix for a bout with WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez (38-0, 25) somewhere down the line.
Back in September we reported that controversial Indian star Vikas Krishan Yadav was looking into turning professional to help prepare himself for the 2020 Olympics in Toyko. It now appears that he has done a lot more than just look to turn professional.
Overnight ESPN.com reported that Vikas, a 2-time Olympian, has now signed professional papers with American promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank promotional outfit.
The Indian signed his contract on Thursday and will be making his professional debut on January 18th at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona on a card set to be shown by ESPN. At the moment however his opponent and the length of his debut haven't yet been revealed.
Vikas spoke about becoming the first Indian to become a world champion, stating that was his aim as a professional, and that he had signed with "the best promotional company in the world".
The current plan is to have a US trainer as well as continuing to train in India with the Indian national team in Punjab, and the hope is to use this professional deal to help prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as previously suggested.
Interestingly the other top Indian amateur to have turned professional, Vijender Singh (10-0, 7) hasn't been seen in the ring since December 23rd 2017 and looks likely to sit out the entire of 2017, with his career not really taking off as some would have hoped.
For those wanting to read the ESPN article that's here.
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