Vijender ready for World Championship

Gold medal and Best Boxer award at recent World Police & Fire Games is perfect platform for World Championships, says star pugilist and Beijing Olympics bronze winner Vijender Singh

India's star boxer Vijender Singh believes his gold medal at the recent World Police and Fire Games in New York is the perfect platform to spur him on to greater glory at the World Championships scheduled to begin on from September 22 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Golden moment: India's Vijender Singh after winning gold at the
Guangzhou Asian Games in China last year. PIC/AFP

"This gold medal (75 kg) is definitely a great confidence-booster ahead of a tournament as important as the World Championships.

I also received the 'Best Boxer' award here which definitely means that my preparation for the Worlds is spot-on," Vijender told MiD DAY from Haryana yesterday, a day after arriving from USA.

The Beijing bronze medallist quickly clarified that the competition was not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. "These are tough guys from some of the world's top most police forces, so obviously they won't be pushovers," said Vijender as he went on to explain the format of the competition. "Since this is not an AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) event, the format was unique. The young and inexperienced boxers, who have fought just four-five fights were placed together in one group, while the more experienced fighters -- those who have fought 15-20 bouts -- were placed in another group. I was obviously in the second group, and going by the criteria, my competitors were not easy," explained the 2009 World Championship bronze medallist.

The Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallist was given a bye in the initial rounds. "But the semis and final were tough. In the semis, there was an Australian guy and the final was against a French boxer. Both countries are known to produce good boxers. Besides, there were also fighters from Italy, Kazhakhstan, Russia, etc all of whom take their boxing pretty seriously," added the Deputy Superintendent of Haryana Police.

"This was my first time at this event, so I went in with zero expectations. But  I've emerged a better fighter. I felt very proud to represent my country's police force. Hopefully, the experience will now help me make my country proud at the World Championships, which is also a qualifier event for the all-important London 2012 Olympics," he signed off.

Besides Vijender, Guangzhou silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (81kg) also finished with a gold medal at the competition.

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