Considered one of Indian boxing’s greatest poster boys, who has an Olympic bronze medal to his title, is now equipped for this 14th skilled bout and he does not wish to carry the luggage of the maiden defeat of his professional profession into his subsequent bout. The Bhiwani star will face the reigning nationwide West Africa Boxing Union champion Ghana’s Eliasu Sulley on August 17 in Raipur.
Vijender’s professional boxing dominance has been evident since he turned professional in 2015. He has hit the ring 13 instances and emerged victorious on 12 events, together with 8 wins by knockouts.
Forward of his 14th professional bout Vijender spoke to TimesofIndia.com about his skilled profession up to now, his defeat final yr, Indian boxers’ present on the not too long ago concluded CWG 2022 and way more…
Vijender Singh and Ghana’s Eliasu Sulley (Picture credit score: TOI particular association)
On Aug 17, you’ll battle Ghana’s Eliasu Sulley. How ready are you?
I am very nicely ready for this battle; my group has been working very exhausting with me for the previous 19 months and this battle might be a end result of all that tough work. We’ve reviewed every part that we find out about him (Sulley) and are raring to go. I do know he has a very good knockout report and is trying to capitalise on that however I’m prepared. I’m fitter and stronger than I’ve been shortly and this lengthy hiatus has solely given me a bonus for the following battle.
Was your morale dented after the defeat to Russia’s Artysh Lopsan final yr?
Nobody likes to lose and particularly not in a aggressive sport. Errors have been made and that battle was misplaced however I additionally see it as a studying expertise as a result of there was lots that I did take away from the battle. So sure, to reply the query, my morale was affected nevertheless it’s all a part of being an athlete and we’ve got managed to show that round and I’m extraordinarily motivated as soon as once more.
What went mistaken in that bout final yr?
One of many greatest elements that resulted within the loss was the truth that I competed with out my group being current on the occasion. We underestimated the impact that will have on the result of the battle however the outcomes did present the distinction. However fortunately, we reset and we’ve got learnt from our errors and we’re optimistic that one thing like that won’t occur once more.
Vijender Singh(Picture credit score: TOI particular association)
How would you fee the Indian boxers’ present at CWG 2022? Who impressed you essentially the most and why?
Very blissful that the Indian boxers completed second on the (boxing) medal tally on the CWG. However we did have somewhat little bit of a combined bag when it comes to outcomes, very excited to see what the longer term holds for Jasmine (Lamboriya) and Nitu (Ghanghas) and Rohit Tokas within the males’s class. On the similar time, I used to be additionally disenchanted with the performances of Lovlina (Borgohain) and Shiva Thapa. The general exhibiting (by Indian boxers at CWG 2022) was stable with some deep runs of their particular person campaigns and it signifies a particularly vibrant future for Indian boxing.
Amit Panghal was favorite to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo final yr however his early exit got here as a shock for everybody. How necessary is the gold medal he gained on the CWG for his Olympic hopes?
It’s positively excellent for his confidence going into the following Olympic cycle. The Commonwealth Video games positively have some very formidable names within the draw and it helps in enhancing expertise and in getting matches beneath your belt at a excessive degree. All this expertise actually counts on the Olympic stage, everybody at all times complains that inexperience results in additional stress and impacts efficiency. The CWG run (will) make sure the boxers are ready for the best degree.
Your recommendation for Amit Panghal…
Belief the coaching and the group that has made certain he can compete on the highest degree and be the favorite as nicely. He simply must convert (his probabilities) and doubtless the stress (he felt) was mirrored in his end in Tokyo however I’m certain that he might be prepared for the following one and has each potential probability of getting that medal on the subsequent Olympics.
Nitu Ghanghas is one other boxer from Bhiwani. She gained a gold on the CWG too. You additionally tweeted about her. Your tackle what the longer term may maintain for her…
Her future is extraordinarily vibrant and this (CWG gold) is unquestionably only a stepping stone to a really lengthy and illustrious profession if she continues in the identical method. It’s a very completely different form of optimistic feeling once you see somebody out of your hometown performing on the worldwide degree. She is placing Bhiwani again on the map in beginner boxing and I’m blissful together with her technical prowess.
Amit Panghal and Nitu Ghanghas
Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain suffered an early exit from the CWG and said “want to focus on upcoming Olympics, CWG is ‘not important for her’, since she was competing in a non-Olympic weight category. Your take on that…
Every tournament is important for an amateur boxer on the way to the biggest stage of all which is the Olympics. They are all tournaments that can help you garner experience through the journey, but each boxer and each athlete has different approaches to the biggest goal which is to win a medal at the Olympics and this could be her approach. If she does win that medal in Paris, it will prove to be another way that works but we will have to wait and watch. For me personally, each tournament was equally important.
India have won three Olympic medals in boxing so far and they have all been bronze – you won the first in 2008, Mary Kom won a bronze in 2012 and then Lovlina picked up a bronze in Tokyo last year. Which boxers in the current crop can you think go on to change the colour of the Olympic medal?
If we take into account the most recent showing at not just the CWG but the World championships as well as the overall performances over the last year there are definitely a couple of names that stand out. Amit Panghal, Nikhat Zareen and of course Lovlina who will be looking to better her own medal colour. But you never know, depending on the qualifications, the contingent can prove to have dark horses who can also deliver for the country. It has been known to happen at the Games.
There are many athletes who perform well at the CWG, Asian Games, and World Championships, but fail at the Olympics. Can this be put down to Olympic pressure?
The Olympic Games are a different ball game altogether, it is not wrong to say that athletes can succumb to Olympic pressure and we have seen it happen time and again as well. It all boils down to so many variables, the preparation, the performances that lead up to the games and a lot of the times it could be the expectations that are pinned on the athlete as well. But it is doable, the pressure can be managed well if you have the right team around you.