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Vijender set to make B-town debut

Percept Pictures has just inked an exclusive marketing deal with the Indian Boxing Federation and by 2011 and you will see Vijender Singh in a Bollywood movie. The film will be a fictionalised account, with plenty of action.

entertainment Updated: Feb 24, 2010 17:40 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

Vijender Singh

Come 2011 and you will see Vijender Singh in a Bollywood movie, promises Shailendra Singh, joint managing director, Percept, that has just inked an exclusive marketing deal with the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) for a period of four years.



The film will be a fictionalised account, with plenty of action and the Padma Shri boxer projected as a larger-than-life hero who represents the youth and the middle-class.



Singh believes the 24-year-old pugilist with whom Percept signed a Rs 5 crore sponsorship deal at the World Boxing Championship in Milan last year, has the potential to be the Indian

Rocky Balboa

, a character made legendary by Sylvester Stallone through the

Rocky

film series. Percept plans to cast a top actress opposite Vijender. He appeared with Mallika Sherawat in Salman Khan’s game show,

Dus Ka Dum

, with Priyanka Chopra on Farah Khan’s

Tere Mere Beach Mein

and with Bipasha Basu in an episode of

Nach Baliye 4

.



Explaining his reasons for getting the World No 1 boxer to move up from the ring to the silver screen, Singh says, “For Vijender, who won the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, the next landmark is the 2012 London Olympics where he will be going for gold.



“We have to ensure that he continues to remain in media circulation after the Commonwealth Boxing Championship and the Asian Games. And the best way to multiply his brand is through a movie. Even Shah Rukh Khan uses seven-eight verticals to keep his brand worth alive.’



The Contender

on air soon


Vijender will also be hosting the Indian edition of the boxing reality show,

The Contender

. Singh says that a promotional video showcasing the back-end stories of a group of boxers who will be competing with each other in a single elimination style-competition on the show has been shot and the ‘desi’ adapatation of the popular show is ready to go on air.



International content and production firm, Bulldog Media and Entertainment, along with media conglomerate Percept Picture Company, are in talks with four leading TV channels.

The Contender

is 90 per cent drama and 10 per cent sports action to appeal to a cross-section of viewers who may not necessarily be boxing enthusiasts.



“We are hoping to win at least five medals in the Commonwealth Boxing Championship that will be held in Delhi from March 10 to 18. It’s the country’s biggest boxing event after the 2006 Woman’s World Championship, with around 140 boxers from 19 countries partcipating. A good showing at this event will make The Contenders a full-on seller,” says Singh, who was recently in Bhiwani, the boxing city from which Vijender hails, and was mesmerised at the sight of 400 boxers running down the highway at 4 am.