VIJENDER SINGH: The Upcoming World Champion By Simran Kaur Kohli from IIMT, Delhi
Vijender Singh, an Indian professional boxer, has taken boxing to the unprecedented heights in a country which is addicted to only one sport - cricket. This young enthusiastic boxer from the poor family of Haryana became the first Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics and to become professional boxer, changing the fortunes of boxing in entire country.
Vijender took inspiration from his elder brother to make career in boxing. Singh is a product of famous Bhiwani Boxing Club located in Bhiwani and is one of the most celebrated members of the club. When Singh decided to take boxing as a career, he started practicising at Bhiwani Boxing Club. Singh got the recognition for the first time when he performed commendably at the state level boxing championship and won silver medal at national level sub junior in 1997. And in 2003 he won a gold medal at the Afro-Asian Games emerging as the all- India youth boxing champion. Later on Singh won bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne in 2006. In the same year he also won the bronze medal at Asian Games. Year 2008 brought the finest achievement for Singh as he became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal. He was honored with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2009 which is the highest sportsperson honor given in India.
The Beijing Olympic medal was just the first step towards success. Vijender made India proud once again when he won gold medal at the Commonwealth Boxing Championship 2010 and was awarded Padma Shri. He also left his mark in London Olympics in 2012 but couldn’t win any medals. But 2 years later he redeemed himself and won the silver medal at the commonwealth Games held at Glasgow, Scotland.
In 2012, boxer was entangled into controversy when police seized drugs from his NRI residence near Chandigarh. Drug test was conducted on Singh in which he qualified as non druggist. In 2015 vijender turned to professional boxing and ended his amateur career. Many blamed Vijender for turning his back to India but he maintained his stand that he will take India to new heights in professional boxing and has always loved his country and will continue to do so.
He fought his first professional fight against British Sonny Whiting and won it. He dedicated his first professional title to the people of India. In his second professional fight against Dean Giller, he registered second consecutive victory in his professional career. Vijender Singh registered his third consecutive win with an easy technical knockout over Samet Hyuseinov. He has fought 9 bouts and has remained unbeaten. He holds two belts, the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title and maintains his unbeaten record.
The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing is not easy as the rules of the two are very different from each other and requires different sets of training but it seems like Vijender has covered this journey from former Olympian to professional boxer pretty smoothly with persistent victories. Vijender has potential to become a next world champion.
But unfortunately Vijender had to shift his base from India to UK due to lack of facilities in India. By bringing world class infrastructure and facilities, India can produce many more Vijender who then would not need to leave their country for better prospects.
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