Ahead of bout, Francis Cheka pokes fun at Vijender's Olympic medal
Given Cheka�s off-the-ring verbal volleys before the bout , the Olympic bronze medallist Vijender, though unfazed has a fight in hand surely
India's ace boxer Vijender Singh’s next fight againat WBO Asia Pacific challenger Tanzanian Francis Cheka hads already created the buzz. The fight has now set to be ugly when they get into the ring its seems as Cheka has poked fun at India’s first Olympic medallist in the sport.
The bust-up at a pre-event face-off more than a decade ago between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in Memphis set the template for the kind of brouhaha, which is mandatory for promotion of a marquee bout.
And if Cheka’s off-the-ring verbal volleys are anything to go by, the Olympic bronze medallist has a fight in hand. The Tanzanian, though, has lost all his bouts away from home.Pro-Boxing does not mind tall claims, but Vijender was more guarded in his reaction. “December 17 night will decide the kind of training that I and Lee Baird (trainer) had put in. I don’t care who my opponent is. I am 110 per cent ready. I will show him who is the best,” said Vijender.
Even as Cheka shoved him during the customary ‘Face-Off’ photo-op, the Indian showed restraint.
One could be forgiven for thinking at times that Cheka’s attempt to spice up things didn’t quite work as Vijender would have none of it.
The fight’s promoter IOS’s Neerav Tomar was asked about the logic behind a Tanzanian being the challenger for a WBO Asia-Pacific bout and he said: “He has come up having won Super Middleweight title in the African region. Anybody can be a challenger. Every six months, Vijender will have to defend his title. If he loses the bout, the WBO Super Middleweight title becomes vacant.”
Tomar said despite the sponsorship crisis that arose due to demonetisation, they have been able to garner enough sponsors for the fight.
Tomar also informed that they are set to open a Pro-Boxing School and have zeroed in on 30-odd fighters. While his promoter may have had his challenges due to demonetisation, Vijender gave his thumbs up for the move. “Everybody should appreciate the move by PM Narendra Modi. I would term it a knock-out punch on corruption. There would be long-term benefits for sure,” Vijender said.