Star India pugilist Vijender Singh dedicated his win to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali after he defeated Australia’s Kerry Hope in 10 rounds to win the WBO Asia/Pacific Middleweight title at the Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.
“I’d like to dedicate this title to Muhammad Ali - he passed away recently,” said the 30-year-old after he was declared unanimous winner with scores of 98-92, 98-92, 100-90.
Vijender thanked the crowd for coming out in big numbers to support him and said that the win is for the country. “Thank you India! I didn’t expect it to go to ten rounds. It is all to my country, not about me,” said the boxer who was in tears after his win and extending his winning run in pro boxing to 7-0.
“We have been working hard for this. Finally we did it and we will work to improve my ranking now,” he said.
This was Vijender’s first points-win after six knockouts in a row and it was also the longest that he spent inside the ring to clinch a win since turning pro.
“Finally I could complete ten rounds. I tried to go for the knockout but it didn’t work out, doesn’t matter. A win is a win,” Vijender added.