Vikas Krishan, most decorated amateur boxer in Indian history, turning pro

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Vikas Krishan, a two-time Olympian and the most decorated amateur boxer in Indian history, signed a multiyear promotional agreement on Thursday to turn pro with Top Rank.

Krishan -- "The Indian Tank" -- is on hand for Friday night's Maurice Hooker-Alex Saucedo junior welterweight world title fight that headlines the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card, and he met with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum in his hotel suite after the weigh-in on Thursday, along with manager David McWater, to sign his contract.

Krishan, a 26-year-old southpaw, will make his professional debut on Jan. 18 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, on the ESPN card headlined by heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings.

"Vikas is a tremendous young man who we expect great things from. He is going to be our Indian Marvelous Marvin Hagler," said Arum, who has promoted fights in numerous countries around the world but never in India.

"But that may change with this kid," Arum added.

Krishan, who represented India at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, is the only Indian fighter to win gold medals at the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

"Top Rank is the best promotional company in the world," Krishan said. "I'm going to be a world champion as a pro. No Indian has ever done that before. When I win a title, I'm going to be more famous in India than the movie stars."

Said McWater: "Before his first pro bout, he is already the best fighter in the history of India. His accomplishments and charisma set him apart. We can't wait to get started."

As a professional, Krishan will be trained in Newark, New Jersey, by Wali Moses, the grandfather of 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist and Top Rank featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson. He also will continue to train with the Indian National Team in Punjab, India, with the possibility of attempting to make the 2020 Olympic team now that professional fighters are allowed to compete.

Krishan, who began boxing at age 10, won a gold medal at the 2010 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. At the 2012 London Olympics, he was credited with a 13-11 decision win over reigning welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr. However, the decision was controversially overturned a few hours later due to fouls Krishan committed during the bout.

At the 2016 Rio Games, Krishan boxed as a middleweight and advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell along the way. Conwell (8-0, 6 KOs) is also managed by McWater and fighting as a junior middleweight in the pro ranks.

After the Olympics, Krishan remained amateur and earlier this year won a Commonwealth Games gold medal and a bronze medal at the Asian Games to become the first three-time Asian Games medalist in Indian history.