Not without my team, says boxer Vijender Singh on next fight in Raipur

Announcing his next fight in Raipur this August, India boxer Vijender Singh insists he’ll never repeat mistake of fighting without his British coaching team, who couldn’t travel due to pandemic when he lost last year

Vijender Singh

India’s star professional boxer Vijender Singh is all set to return to the ring in August as he looks to re-start a winning streak, which was broken last March by Russian Ayrtsh Lopsan. Vijender will be facing an international boxer in Chhattisgarh’s capital city, Raipur, and has already begun training in Manchester.

A much younger Lopsan, then 26, ended the then 35-year-old Vijender’s 12-match winning run with a technical knockout in Round 5 of an eight-round contest atop the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Panjim, and though that happened over a year back, the Indian is still hurting.

“That [defeat] was my first fight since the Covid-19 outbreak and my British coaching team were not with me. I was returning to the ring after more than a year. My trainer [Lee Beard] couldn’t make it because of the pandemic, so I had to approach a friend for guidance. That didn’t work. I was very upset after that defeat and decided that I will always have my team with me whenever I fight next,” Vijender told mid-day over the phone from Manchester on Tuesday.

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The 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medal winner is yet to identify his opponent, but assured his fans that the fight titled ‘Rumble In The Jungle,’ organised by Purple Goat Sportainment LLP, will be a good contest. And there is a good reason for that. “I will be discussing this with my team. I want to get one or two good fights before I can have a go at Lopsan again. I don’t forget things easily and I want to beat him, but I have to take things step by step. So, my focus now is on this fight in Raipur. Then, we will plan maybe one or two more fights and after that, I will go for Lopsan,” explained Vijender.

At 37, the former Middleweight World No.1, realises that things won’t be easy, but insists that with his experience and fitness, he can overcome any challenge. “If I train hard and with the right people, I will definitely succeed. I still have over a month to prepare for the fight and plan to work on my fitness here in Manchester till then. I’m eager to be back and this time with a win,” he signed off. 

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