We may have been ecstatic about Vijender Singh’s win at his first professional boxing bout, but the boxer says that his Olympic medal meant more to him.
Interestingly, Vijender who won a Bronze medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics admits he was nervous before the match. “I won’t say that I was scared. Jab humne Olympic mein medal jeet liya toh yeh kya cheez hai! But I was a bit nervous because I was getting in the ring after a long time,” he says, adding that the audience near the ring didn’t make things easier for him. “Woh jo ring ke pass crowd hota hai, woh bahut aggressive tha. ‘Arre iski naak tod do’ were the kind of things that they were shouting. Us time toh bas uparwale ko yaad kar raha tha main (laughs).”
Vijender made a great headstart on his professional boxing debut as he defeated British boxer Sonny Whiting in Manchester, England, on Saturday.
Before the match, Sonny bragged about beating Vijender and said, “I’m going to put this kid through absolute hell.’ However, Vijender says, “His words had no effect on me. I know it was a bit of light banter from his end. Just like any other sport, there’s healthy banter between boxers as well.”
Vijender, however, insists that he has a long way to go before he joins the league of legendary pro boxers such as Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao. “There’s still a long way to go. I have just had one fight and I have won that. I’d absolutely love to fight Floyd (Mayweather) or Manny, they are legendary boxers. They have been in this circuit for a long time and I will take time to reach at their level,” he says.