Boxer Vijender upbeat ahead of second pro bout


All geared up for his second outing in the professional arena, Indian boxing star Vijender Kumar is confidence persofinied as he wraps up the final stages of his preparations for the bout against Dean Gillen in Dublin on 7 November.

“I am working really hard in training. Apart from the physical regimen, the main focus of my training right out is working out the strategies. I am sparring a lot during the training sessions,” the Olympic bronze medalist told IANS on phone from Dublin.

Vijender scored a Technical Knock Out over British boxer Sonny Whiting within four rounds in Manchester on 10 October for a superb start to his pro career. Gillen, his next opponent, has won both the bouts he has fought so far.

Although Vijender admitted he has very little idea about Gillen’s fighting style, the Haryana star is upbeat about his chances.

“I have no idea about the strengths or weaknesses of my next opponent. He is a newcomer to pro boxing, just like me. He has won both his bouts, so he must be a good boxer. It is difficult to gauge anyone properly after just two bouts. But I am ready for the challenge. I am sure that it will be a good fight.

“We are stydying the individual rounds of his earlier two fights and preparing our strategies accordingly. He are hoping that our strategies will work on the big day. We can only know once we are in the ring. But I confident,” he added.

“I am totally prepared for anything.”

Talking about his debut fight, the Asian Games medalist revealed that it was a completely differnet experience from amateur bouts and he still needs some time to adjust to the changes.

“The gloves are smaller, so the punches have more sting. Once he managed to breach my defence and I got hit. After that I was thinking that I won’t make the same mistake again,” Vijender said.

“Amateur fights generally have more speed, but the punches mostly do not have as much power. The bigger gloves also makes things a bit easier. It is easier to recover after a taking a hit.”

British boxer Amir Khan – a former two-time World Champion and the current World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver welterweight title holder – had praised Vijender during his recent visit to India, saying that the 30-year-old has the ability to be a world champion in the future.

Vijender asserted that Amir’s words have come as a morale booster for him.

“I thank him for watching my fight. I spoke to on the phone. I respect and admire him. He is boxing for so many years and won several world titles. It is an honour to be praised by a boxer like him,” he remarked.

“His words have been like a morale booster for me. He is an experienced guy and he knows how to judge a boxer. I will definitely work hard and try to become a world champion in the future,” Vijender said.

“I will give my 100 percent to win the world title.”