India’s star boxer Vijender Singh has said his first home professional bout against Australia’s Kerry Hope for the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title will decide the future of professional boxing in the country.
The 2008 Olympic Games bronze-medallist, who won his first six professional bouts outside India, will fight for the first time in front of his home fans in New Delhi on July 16.
“I think, there is no pressure and more responsibility because this fight will decided what is the future of pro boxing in India, and people are excited and coming to see the fight. Of course I will have to give my 100 percent, I have to win the fight, that’s an important part, but there is no pressure, responsibility is there, fulfill it and take the title,” Vijender told reporters here.
The Delhi lad will face an opponent who has an experience of 30 bouts, of which he has won 23, out of which two were by knock-outs.
Speaking about his opponent, Vijender said, “He is a south paw guy and I know him and he is a very experienced guy, and when I spoke to (my) coach, we will take him, its not that difficult, but we will take him, don’t worry.”
“But I know, he have experience, I know that, his record is that 35 or something, I don’t know, but it is a record right now. But I have an Olympic medal. I just did like, I get Olympic medal, I did Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, so I do everything, but not in pro in amateur, I can do that and I know that.”
Vijender who dominated his opponents in the previous six professional bouts, decided not make or pass any comments on his opponent before the flight, rather he was solely focused on getting the job done.
“I don’t want to say anything before the fight, pass any comment or any bad thing about him, ok like that I am going to destroy him.”
The 30-year-old said he will visit the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to cheer for the Indian participants.
“I will go to the Rio Olympics to support other Indian boxers, after this fight, I will go and just watch the fights in Rio, yes I will go,” he said.
When asked about the excitement over his first title fight, Vijender said he is focusing on winning it and then step closer to the world title fight in days to come.
“After this I will come in the league, my ranking will be 15 in the world… then going to be like, going for world title fight slowly slowly, may be next year or after that,” he concluded.