Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh will be making his return to the ring on March 19 for a Vegas-style boxing match on the rooftop deck of the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Goa.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist turned professional in 2015 and was last seen in action in November 2019 when he defeated Ghana’s Charles Adamu to keep his unbeaten record of 12-0 intact, including 8 knockout wins.
Ahead of his return, Vijender is excited about being back in the ring and that too in his own country.
“Yes I am excited that I can have a boxing match in India, in front of my own people, again as there has been no such event in India before, especially in Goa,” Vijender told News18.com in an exclusive interview.
Vijender has fought in India before — two in New Delhi and one each in Mumbai and Jaipur.
When asked what exactly is ‘Vegas-style boxing’, Vijender said: “Spectators will be seated with one seat gap, due to the pandemic. Matches in the United States have been organised with the pandemic in mind, following the rules and protocols and the fight has been live-streamed. So we are trying to do a similar thing in India and I am hoping that people will like the bout and enjoy boxing.”
Returning to the ring will not easy, especially after almost more than a year and Vijender knows that.
“I started preparations in January and will have around one-two weeks of training left before I get back in the ring, but I am ready for the fight. The pandemic changed a lot of things,” Vijender said.
“I have been training in Delhi with Jai Bhagwan, who is my training partner in India.
“There were some issues in the beginning, in the first week back, I faced a lot of problems. Got hit quite a lot and had a couple of injuries well. That slowly it all started coming back to me that I am in the ring again. After a point, you do get back on track,” he said.
Vijender is hoping that event will be a success and everyone involved will be safe.
“Hopefully, the vaccination drive has started rolling out, I am hoping that it is all well and that no one gets infected. Let’s hope for the best and everything will be fine as we will be following all the norms and rules,” he said.
Recently one of Vijender’s tweets went viral, of him complementing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his fitness. The Congress leader had visited Kerala and had jumped into the sea along with fishermen at Thangassery beach.
“Abs of a boxer. Most daring young fit & people’s leader. Way to go @RahulGandhi Ji,” Singh had tweeted on Thursday with a photo.
When asked about the story behind his viral post, Vijender said, “A lot of my posts go viral.”
“I like that picture because when I saw that picture on social media, my first thought was that – ‘he looks damn fit!’,” he said.
“Then I tweeted that ‘you look like a boxer’. I write what is the truth and what I feel in my heart. If people like it, fine. But he is so fit as he jumped into the Arabian Sea,” he added.
Vijender also clarified that he will not be asking Rahul Gandhi to join him in the ring for a friendly bout when asked.
“No, why. He is doing his job. He is fighting for our rights. I will invite him to come and see my fight in Goa, if he finds the time to come that, of course, it will be a pleasure for me,” he said.
Vijender had joined the Congress party and contested the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from Delhi and had lost to BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri from the South Delhi constituency.
When asked about the future of his political career, Vijender countered, “The thing about a political career is that it is never on hold, I am always invested. It is not a career. I meet people when they come and am active on social media and always take time out for helping people out.”