Undefeated in what has been a fast-rising professional career, Indian boxing star Vijender Singh will take on Welsh-born Australian Kerry Hope in his maiden title bout for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight belt in New Delhi on Saturday
Should he win on July 16th, Vijender Singh will get a crack at the top-15 of WBO world rankings. "It will open the door for world title bouts, so that would be a progession for me," said Vijender.
30-year-old Vijender Singh, who has won all his six pro bouts after turning pro via knockouts, will be up against his most experienced and accomplished rival so far as Kerry Hope is a former WBCC European champion with 23-7 win-loss record
This is the first home professional bout for the 2008 Olympic Games bronze-medallist.
The Welsh-born Hope, who emigrated to Australia, was also a WBC middleweight champion and has moved a division up to super middleweight to take on Vijender.
"I can't wait for tomorrow. I am fighting in Delhi after six years, Commonwealth Games being the last time and I am very excited about it," said Vijender after the official weigh-in and face off with Kerry. The Indian came in at 75.7kg in the official weigh in.
"I have trained very hard and I can see that he hasn't. So I am very confident," Hope, who weighed 74.9kg, said.
The fight night will feature seven other undercard bouts, comprising boxers from the Indian Boxing Council's stable and two Thai invites. One of the seven fights will be a women's exhibition bout, featuring boxers from the celebrated MC Mary Kom's academy.
Kapil Dev, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir will be in attendance from the cricketing world. Besides Mary Kom and double Olympic medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar will also witness the fight. The stars of Bollywood that will add to the glam quotient of the event are Irfan Khan, Randeep Hooda, Neha Dhupia, Diljit Dosanjh, Rannvijay, Baadshah, Jimmy Shergil and Raghu among others. Other prominent personalities who are expected to attend the event at the Thyagaraj stadium are Finance Minister of Haryana Captain Abhimanyu Singh, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Smriti Irani, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Rajiv Shukla, Baba Ramdev and Anirudh Chaudhary.
About The Gallery
Indian star boxer Vijender Singh and Australian Kerry Hope weighed in for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title in New Delhi on Friday. Singh will be fighting Kerry on Saturday