Vijender Singh up for home battle

Meanwhile, Vijender said he would try and make the Rio cut for by competing at the last qualifying event in Venezuela next mont.

New Delhi: Olympic Games bronze winner Vijender Singh will take on former European champion from Australia — Kerry Hope — in his first professional bout at home next month, it was announced here on Monday.

Vijender will contend for the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title, an event which has been dubbed the ‘Return of the Singh’, at Thyagaraj Sports Stadium in the capital on July 16.

“It’s an absolute dream for me to fight in front of my home crowd and finally this moment is just a month away. I am eagerly waiting for my title fight,” Vijender said here on Monday.

“I have put in a lot of hard work in the last six knockout wins and I am gearing up to remain unbeaten in my seventh fight and win the first big pro title for my country.”

So far, Vijender has only fought abroad and won all six professional bouts he has participated in. But Hope, who has 12 year of experience in professional boxing, poses a different challenge altogether and promised to spoil Vijender’s party.

“I know Vijender is an Olympic medallist, he has plenty of experience in amateur boxing and has been unbeaten in the professional arena so far. It is his dream of winning in front of his home crowd, but I am here to ruin his dream,” said Hope.
Vijender was quick to react saying, “Only time will tell, bro!”

“I have 12 years of experience and I’ll take that into the fight. I own the belt and Vijender is going after that. I really enjoy being the underdog,” said Hop.
Vijender, 30, has knocked out all six of his opponents thus far and vows to inflict the same on Hope.

“I know I will have the crowd behind me and tremendous support from them, but I will be nervous at the same time due to the pressure of expectations,” the Indian star said. There was a surprise in store for those present during the announcement. Legendary cricketer Virender Sehwag broke into the proceedings to be presented with the first of the tickets for the fight.

Vijender eyes Rio

Meanwhile, Vijender said he would try and make the Rio cut for by competing at the last qualifying event in Venezuela next month as professional boxers were permitted to fight at the Games by the International Association earlier this month.

“I will try and make it to Rio. I had given up on it but my Olympic dreams have resurfaced,” Vijender said.

However, his British promoter, Queensberry Promotions boss Francis Warren, thought otherwise. “I won’t at all be happy, if he wants to go there. As I see it, there is no time. Of course he is his own man, but that cannot hinder with what we have planned for him because it’s taken a year to reach where he has. He has contractual obligations with us.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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