A recent drug controversy had threatened to rob Vijender Singh of the glory he had earned for India in the boxing ring. The once poster boy is now desperate to win back the hearts of his fans when he sets foot in the ring for the first time since the London Games.
So even after
thinking to switch to a higher 81kg category following his 2012 London failure, the 27-year-old who recently became a father, has now opted to fight in his original 75kg category.
After all, this was the tried and tested category in which he won Olympic and World Championship bronze medals and gold at the Asian Games.
The national trials for the World Championships, to be held in Kazakhstan in October, begin in Patiala form Tuesday. And Vijender will participate in the three-day event in the 75kg category.
After returning empty handed from the London Games, there was speculation in the media that Vijender would switch to 81 kg. He himself did not deny that and voiced difficulties trying to maintain his body weight.
But on Monday he confirmed it would be 75 kg, the weight category in which he held the world No 1 rank in 2009.
"For the last couple of months I am training for the world championship and have maintained my body weight," says Vijender, who returned to Patiala after a short leave. "I am a professional boxer and I am totally focused on the world championships," he said.
The Bhiwani boxer had created history in 2008 by becoming the country's first pugilist to win an Olympic medal.
As if to prove it wasn't a flash in the pan he followed it up with a bronze in the next year's World Championships as well and the 2010 Asian Games gold made him a superstar in Indian sports.
"The drug controversy is past and I am appearing for the trials on Tuesday. This is the present," said Vijender, who became father to son Abir on August 4. "All I can say is that it was a bad dream. I just want to tell you that. Ups and downs are part and parcel of a sportsperson's life and we live with it. But if I have power in my punch, I will get everything back," said Vijender.