After leaving his mark in the world of professional boxing with a great start, Vijender Singh is a man on a mission. In the last bout, Vijender Singh successfully defended his WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight Title by defeating Francis Cheka with TKO (Technical knockout) in the 3rd round.
Usually, in the field of contact sports like boxing and MMA, the participants are often mean to each other during the face-off to generate interest in their matches. As we saw, Francis Cheka issued statements of teaching Vijender Singh a lesson and pushed him in the face-off but Vijender prefers his gloves to do the talking. He is touted as the ‘good boy’ of boxing – not unlike Gennady Golovkin of middleweight division who is also known for his good nature but hits like a truck. Since Vijender is a household name in India, he doesn’t have the need to make controversial statements in order to attract the public. India has his back whenever he is fighting, people will see him because he has piqued the interest of the general public in pro boxing by bringing it home.
More importantly, he has opened a new channel where the boxers of India can divert their career apart from amateur boxing since Indian Boxing Federation has been in turbulent waters.
After defending his WBO ASPAC title, Vijender has set his eyes on other titles and tougher challengers. The Managing Director of IOS Neerav Tomar, who manages Vijender Singh’s promotion in India was quoted as saying
“We have been discussing that probably Vijender might just go back to the UK and fight there or in China or in Dubai. So it’s not just gonna be about fighting in India. We are next looking for an opportunity to fight in Leicester, there is a high Indian population there.That’s an option potentially next year. We have been debating about the next fight. I think we are going to go for a new title because he has this title. We are going to go for a Commonwealth title or even the intercontinental title, there is a good Russian boxer and there is a good Oriental fighter. That could be in the next couple of months,”.
Vijender Singh’s Potential Challengers in 2017
Luke ‘Robbo’ Blackledge
The Brit has an impressive record of 22 Wins – 3 Losses- 2 Draw from his 27 fights thus far. The 26-year-old lost the last fight against Callum Smith who is among the best in the super middleweight division and has a habit of winning with KO. Luke Blackledge gave a spirited fight and went toe to toe against Callum Smith but was knocked out cold in the 10th round with his performance earning him a standing ovation from the crowd. His never-give-up attitude makes him dangerous and he will be a tough test for Vijender.
Zulpikar debuted in pro boxing in the same year as Vijender. Like Vijender, he has not lost a single fight and has a record of 7 Wins – 0 Losses – 1 Draw. He has defeated the experienced fighter, Thomas Mashali with a TKO(Technical Knockout) using speed and stamina to claim the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Title. He is just 22 years old and so, has time on his side to make up even if he falters in any of the matches, unlike Vijender who is now 31. Vijender is an excellent boxer but even a single loss before reaching the stratosphere of the elite boxers of his division can delay his dream of becoming the world champion.
Apti ‘The Tiger’ Ustarkhanov
The 26 year old Russian is the current IBO inter-continental title holder with a history of 14 Wins – 2 Lose – 3 Draw. Vijender has height and reach advantage over Apti who is 5’ 8’’ tall. The percentage of KO wins scored by Apti is 21% which reduces the chances of him knocking out Vijender but you can never be certain in the game of boxing where one solid timed punch can cause disruptions. Almost all the boxers Apti has fought were from Russia including experienced pugilist like Dmitry Sukhotskiy. He can be a worthy future opponent for Vijender to test his might.
Tough and Exciting Times Ahead
The future bouts will be tough as well as exciting, winning can earn Vijender a new title belt and increase the chances of landing bigger fights in the future in the super middleweight division. Vijender is improving day by day under the guidance of his coach Lee Beard. Let us see what future holds for him but I would personally like to see a bout against Zulpikar Maimaitiali which will be the first time China and India will be facing off against each other in any sport, it can be a jackpot for promoters if they are able to make this happen because millions of people will tune in to see this fight from both India and China.
Off the lot, a bout against Zulpikar Maimaitiali will be the first time China and India will be facing off in the sport and will prove to be a jackpot for promoters if they are able to make this happen because millions of people will tune in to see this fight from both India and China.