Vikas was very slow in his movements during the entire bout. His opponent, on the other hand, was light-footed and swift. Okazawa’s strategy was simple: open up Vikas with body punches and then land the head combinations. That earned him several points in the first round, where Vikas was uncharacteristically defensive.
The Indian was mostly reacting to his opponent, trying to weave and dodge Okazawa’s aggressive game.
In trying to catch up, Vikas exposed himself way too much in the next round. The 29-year-old also sustained a cut below his left eye in the second round and was left bloodied for the remaining time in the bout.
Vikas, who had beaten Okazawa at the Asian Olympic qualifiers last year, looked uncomfortable right from the start. It was later revealed that he was suffering from a shoulder injury before the bout.
“During the last sparring session in Italy (before the boxing team left for Tokyo), Vikas injured his shoulder. He got treatment and we had hoped that he would be fine. He started without problem. But when he attempted a jab at Okazawa’s body, he hurt the shoulder again and could not use his left hand properly. He fought with one hand,” India’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said, referring to the team’s pre-Olympic training stint in Italy.
@officialvkyadav you fought today despite your shoulder injury and the agonizing pain that you’ve been under. It ne… https://t.co/dIDcnqlnzM
— Neeraj Goyat (@GoyatNeeraj) 1627128661000
The injury hampered Vikas’ performance in the ring. After the agonizing loss, his best friend and fellow boxer Neeraj Goyat took to his Twitter handle and tweeted: “Vikas Krishan Yadav, you fought despite your shoulder injury and the agonizing pain that you have been under. It needs strength of character to fight a battle such as this one with one working arm, and what matters is that you tried your best. You are an inspiration and a true Indian.”