Vijender Singh’s WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title defense bout against Tanzania’s Francis Cheka at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Saturday has got the nation abuzz on social media. It is a big night for Vijender, who has won all the seven bouts of his pro career so far, the last one being his win over Australian Kerry Hope to take the Asia Pacific belt.
Cheka will be the Beijing Olympics bronze medallist’s toughest opponent so far. The Tanzanian is the current Intercontinental Super Middleweight champion.
The big showdown in Delhi will be attended by a host of celebrities, who would be rooting for Vijender Singh from the front row. The guest list includes some big names from politics, sports and Bollywood.
Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan, Olympic medallists Yogeshwar Dutt, Sushil Kumar and Mary Kom will all be present to root for their best friend. Bollywood actors Neha Dhupia and Rahgu Ram, who are Vijender’s best friends, will join the cheering squad.
Political leaders who will attend the bout include Union minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, sports minister Vijay Goel, Haryana chief minister ML Khattar, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda.
Vijender has promised all-out aggression on Saturday, saying that the bout is not just about himself, but about the country.
“It’s not about myself; it’s about my nation, my country,” said Vijender.
Cheka is a veteran of 43 fights with 32 wins, including 17 KOs.
Vijender insisted he is under no pressure and predicted another memorable night in Delhi. “Cheka is a highly-experienced boxer, he has many bouts under his belt but I am the younger, stronger and hungrier fighter,” added Vijender.
“He is coming to my homeland to take what is mine but I won’t let that happen. The Thyagaraj Stadium is my patch now and I’m expecting another huge crowd to come and support me. I am confident of getting another win, I feel my stance is becoming better with every training session and, on top of that, I feel more powerful than ever. On December 17, you will all see the results of the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes.”