Bangkok, Sep 5 (IANS) Indian pugilist Vikas Krishan Yadav went down fighting to Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan in the final of the middleweight (75kg) category at the Asian Boxing Championships here on Saturday.
Vikas — the only Indian to reach the final at this event — thus added a silver to the Indian tally which also includes three bronze medals.
The former World Championships bronze medallist had qualified for October’s World Boxing Championship earlier when he defeated Waheed Abdulridha of Iraq to enter the summit clash.
Vikas put up a spirited show in the final, but Melikuziev wasted little time in the first round, serving up a range of attacks. Vikas, who took his time to find his feet, replied but the Uzbek’s early burst allowed him to pull ahead, taking the round 30-27.
In the second round, a determined Vikas unleashed a volley of concerted attacks on Melikuziev, pushing the Uzbek on to the back foot.
The strategy seemed to have worked as the 2014 Youth Olympics gold medallist seemed rattled and Vikas was deservedly awarded the second round 29-28.
In the decider, both boxers threw caution to the winds, rolling out aggressive combinations.
Vikas managed to land two big right hooks, but a great recovery from Melikuziev in the final 25 seconds saw the Uzbek pick up some important points which ultimately proved to be crucial.
“He began really fast and in very aggressive fashion. I just took a little time to settle in but I think I conceded a few points then. I found my rhythm and I attacked him well at the end of the round but I guess that wasn’t enough,” Vikas said after the bout.
“It was a good tough bout. I think I did well to come back into the fight with a strong second round. In the third round, both of us were going hard. I landed some clear punches but perhaps I should have been more tighter in the closing stages,” he concluded.