Vijender Singh rocks in pro debut, thrashes Sonny Whiting
Manchester: Vijender Singh made a dream professional debut by knocking out Britain's Sonny Whiting at the Manchester Arena on Saturday. Whiting, who was merely three bouts old in the pro circuit heading into the game, had called Vijender "a kid" and had promised a thrashing to the debutant.
But Vijender dashed all his hopes, as the Bhiwani boxer won the contest with a few seconds left in the third of the four-round bout via technical knockout. He pushed Whiting on to the ropes with a combination of jabs and uppercuts before the referee stepped in to stop the contest.
"I am very happy with this win. It’s just the beginning, I have to go a long way. I will work harder and will become a professional champion one day. I never got nervous during the fight. My punches have replied to Sonny Whiting in the ring. Now, I will prepare for my next fight on October 30," the Haryana-lad said after his win.
Vijender Singh gears up before his bout.
"It's (professional boxing) new for me but I have been working hard. I want to win, win and win. I would like to thank my fans, friends, family and coaches for their support in beginning this journey. I want my country to be known in the professional ring," he added.
The first round started off with both the boxers being circumspect before Vijender took the matter into his own hands.
For all the talks, it was Whiting, who looked timid and unsure of what to do against the clinical Indian. The nimble-footed Vijender used his long reach to full advantage against his 26-year-old rival.
Vijender, who by round two had grown in confidence after landing couple of clean jabs in the first, rattled Whitting with brilliant left-right combo. The erratic Whiting could never really recover from the surprise attack and all his attacking strategy went haywire with every passing second.
The effort put in to improve his jabbing by his renowned trainer Lee Beard was there to be seen, as Vijender had Whiting scurrying for cover. His foot movement remarkably rhythmic, Vijender pummelled Whiting in the second round with his combination of hooks and jabs.
Vijender celebrates after winning the match. (Photos: PTI)
In contrast, Whiting could never really get going and match the claims of giving his greenhorn rival a very rude welcome. The Brit struggled to match Vijender's ability to shift gears within seconds and had himself tied up in knots while trying to counter-attack.
It all fell apart for him in the third round when Vijender cornered him on the ropes and let loose a flurry of punches which stopped only after the referee stepped to rescue Whiting.
In the end, the soft-spoken Indian had a faint smile on his face and had his arm lifted in celebration as he lived up to the pre-bout promise of speaking only through punches.