Vijender Singh’s bout with the Haryana government over chasing his professional boxing dreams is over. The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist can go ahead with his plans with the Haryana government finally approving his leave application to train in England to compete in the professional circuit.
Vijender, a Deputy Superintendent in Haryana Police, had in July sought a year’s extraordinary leave (from August 2015) to train and compete. The government didn’t give its approval, which whipped up a controversy. However, it gave its approval a couple of days ago.
“The chief minister has approved the extraordinary leave of Vijender Singh and he can now train abroad and can take part in pro boxing,” a senior bureaucrat said. “His application was considered on the ground that when other sportspersons with the Haryana Police have been given permission to play in various professional leagues, he should also be allowed. In professional boxing too, if he wins, it is going to be credited to the country’s account.”
Around 15 athletes from Haryana Police figure in various professional leagues, including the pro-kabaddi league. Vijender has started training in London and the first bout is expected to take place in a month.
Vijender’s decision to turn pro had invited criticism and the court had taken suo motu note of his signing a contract with a Londonbased promoter without government permission. The Punjab and Haryana high court has also asked the Haryana government to file its response to Vijender’s plea seeking directions to the government to grant him clearance.
The government has forwarded the approval to be submitted as its response in the court. The government will also tell the court that benefits given to the boxer are all post-achievement incentives.