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In pics: Vijender dashes Kerry’s ‘Hope’, clinches Asia Pacific title

other sports Updated: Jul 17, 2016 00:19 IST
Vijender Singh

Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh hits his opponent Australia's Kerry Hope during the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Championship 'Title Fight' at Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on Saturday.(PTI)

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh was crowned the WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight champion Saturday after edging out Australia’s Kerry Hope by a unanimous decision in the country’s maiden professional fight in New Delhi.

Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh celebrates after beating Australia's Kerry Hope. (PTI)

Singh, who became the first Indian to win a boxing medal by taking home bronze from the 2008 Olympics, kept his undefeated record alive in his seventh bout since turning pro last year.

Indian boxer Vijender Singh, left, with Australia’s Kerry Hope during their fight for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title in New Delhi on Saturday. (AP)

Hailing from the next-door state of Haryana, the 30-year-old did not disappoint in front of a packed house at Delhi’s Thyagaraj stadium which erupted with joy after the tenth and final round.

Singh’s British trainer Lee Beard lifted the champion after the final bell to celebrate the victory even before the three judges delivered their final decision. (PTI)

Singh, who had won all his previous fights via knockout or TKO, scored 98-92, 98-92, 100-90 to dismantle the former WBC European champion.

The local hero had a host of top athletes, celebrities and politicos outside the ring to celebrate his maiden pro title. (AFP)

The 34-year-old Hope, who had a 23-7 record heading into the fight, relied on his 12 years of professional experience in the ring against the newcomer. But Singh appeared unstoppable.

Singh relied on right hooks, taking advantage of his six-foot frame and wider reach than his Welsh-born Australian opponent, who stood at 5 feet 10 inches. (PTI)

“It’s not about myself, it’s about my nation, my country,” Singh said after being crowned winner.