Vijender Singh's knockout plan for COVID-19

Updated: May 22, 2020, 07:12 IST | Ashwin Ferro | Mumbai

India's champion boxer Vijender Singh is discussing the possibility of a pro bout in New Delhi around year-end

Vijender Singh
Vijender Singh

It's an uncertain world as far as the resumption of sports activities is concerned, but India's star boxer Vijender Singh has said that there could be some positive development from his camp towards year-end.

"I have been in touch with my trainer Lee [Beard] in Manchester [United Kingdom] and my promoters, Top Rank [in USA]. We have discussed that it's almost impossible to think of any commercial events in the US or UK given the severe effect of the pandemic there. However, a professional fight in India could be a possibility. Instead of my team and me travelling to a destination that may be unsafe, we think it's better to fly in my opponent and his team here. If the Delhi government agrees and if we find sponsors, a pro fight of six or seven rounds may be possible towards the end of the year," Vijender, 34, told mid-day from his ancestral home in Haryana's Kaluwas village in Bhiwani district. The 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medal-winning boxer and his family travelled to Haryana on Wednesday evening after spending nearly two months in lockdown at their New Delhi home. "It's a refreshing change to be back in my village. Everything is so peaceful here. I'm sure my wife and kids will also feel a lot more relaxed now," added the former World No. 1 middleweight boxer.

While Delhi (11,000-plus), like Mumbai (24,000-plus), has seen an explosion of COVID-19 cases, Haryana (less than 1000) is not too badly affected and Kaluwas has zero cases.

"I heard that there were two cases in some other parts of Bhiwani but both have recovered now. There are no cases in my village. This place is better for me as I can train more freely here," added Vijender, who boasts of a 100 per cent professional record (12 wins out of 12).

The 2010 Asian Games gold medal-winner has fought two of his 12 pro fights in Delhi. In July 2016, he beat Australian Kerry Hope to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super-middleweight title. The same year, in December, he knocked out Tanzania's Francis Cheka to retain the WBO belt. And though both bouts at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex were sell-outs, Vijender is open to the fact that there may be no spectators in the stadium this time. "We don't know how things will pan out in the near future. If there is no vaccine then crowds will have to be kept away for their safety. For us athletes, if all the necessary testing is done, I see no reason to fear. As far as social distancing is concerned, anyway in boxing there are only three people in the ring at all times with the referee standing at a distance. And as for my opponent, I can keep him at a distance with my punches," concluded the former World Championship medallist.

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