The Comeback after a Defeat
After conceding a technical defeat in the fifth round against Russian opposition Artysh Lopsan in Goa last year, India’s Olympic bronze medalist and later-turned professional boxer Vijender Singh came back strongly, knocking out Ghanaian boxer Eliasu Sulley in the very beginning of the second round in his 14th bout in Raipur this August to make the overall scoreline 13-1 in his favor. Sulley was the reigning national West Africa Boxing Union champion. Vijender was happy to have bounced back after the defeat revealed that due to Covid-19 and restrictions his coaching team including chief coach Lee Beard was not able to be with him before the last fight against the Russian opposition.
The next fight and effort to promote Pro-Boxing
Vijender Singh who is the first Pro-boxer in India is now in Delhi and talking over the phone from there he stated,
“I have started training here just now. I feel my next Pro-boxing bout might take place in January next year although the opposition and venue have not yet been fixed.” Commenting on his effort to promote professional boxing in India, the 36-year-old boxer stated, “I have been trying to promote Pro-boxing here in India. That is why my last four to five bouts have been staged in the country’s different places. Simultaneously, there are so many young boxers in the country who have been joining Pro-boxing. I receive messages from several young boxers. Many of them even travel outside the country such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan to take part in Pro-boxing bouts. I help them also to promote their bouts. But at the same time, promoting or spreading Pro-boxing always does not become easy. A lot of things including financial aspects become crucial factors. So, I feel it will take some more time to accelerate the speed of promotion.”
Vijender Singh and the reluctance of the government
Vijender lamented that he has faced several obstructions whenever he has tried to contribute to Indian boxing. He disclosed,
“As I am one of the members of the Indian National Congress party, the BJP-led central government, as well as the BJP-led state government in Haryana, will not allow me to contribute to Indian boxing.” The first Indian boxer to have acquired a bronze medal in Olympics (in 2008 Bejing) added, “I applied for land to Haryana state government a couple of years ago. Our state government is also run by BJP. I had dreams of setting up a boxing school where along with amateur boxing teaching and training in Pro-boxing will also be furnished. I had plans to install world-class infrastructure. Still, I have not received any response. I know BJP-led government will not allow me to do good for Indian boxing.”