Boxer Vijender Singh Goes Pro, Turns Back on India Career | Video
India’s first Olympic medal winning boxer says he’s counting on his fans’ love as he starts afresh in the pro circuit
India’s most celebrated male boxer and Olympic bronze-medallist, Vijender Singh has decided to turn professional. The move means ending his amateur career and in the process, ruling himself out of next year’s Olympics as he can no longer compete for India.
The 29-year-old has signed a multi-year contract with Queensberry Promotions, that will see the middleweight boxer fight a minimum of six times in the first year.
Simply put, Vijender just bumped himself up to the Mayweather and Pacquiao category of ‘fight-night’ boxers, giving up his India gloves in the process. A step he seems to be happy about, for now at least.
I’m excited to turn pro and looking forward to the new chapter of my life. I want to train hard and perform for my country at the global level. My immediate goal will be to work hard and make a good boxing record in the next year or so.
– Vijender Singh, Pro-boxer
Big Blow To Indian Boxing
Vijender’s move to pro-boxing primarily means he will not compete for India again, a move that has shaken Indian boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.
It is really very surprising for me. I am in a state of shock because I never expected this would happen. But obviously, he must have given some thought to the idea and decided accordingly. At the end of the day, it is his career.
– Gurbax Singh Sandhu, Indian Boxing Coach
“He is an excellent teammate, motivates others, and is friendly guy. His presence would certainly be missed. I don’t know how the boys will react to this news. It is truly very shocking,” Sandhu added.
Amateur vs Pro Boxing
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) rules on boxers joining professional leagues other than the ones promoted by AIBA clearly state that they become ineligible for amateur competitions.
So, in joining Francis Warren’s UK based Queensberry Promotions, Vijender has chosen to effectively retire from national duty.
Warren though feels there is a solid reason behind Vijender’s decision, saying that the middleweight boxer has it in him to script history in the pro circuit.
After spending the past week with him in Manchester, there is no doubt in my mind that he has what it takes to be a very successful professional boxer, not only due to his undoubted natural talent, but also due to his drive and focus.
– Francis Warren, Queensberry Promotions
(With inputs from PTI.)
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