Vijender wants a shot at Rio, promoters unhappy
sports Updated: Jun 07, 2016 08:14 IST
NEW DELHI: Olympic bronze medallist and professional boxer Vijender Singh, who will take on former European champion Kerry Hope for the WBO Asia super middleweight title bout at the Thyagaraj Stadium on July 16, said he wants a shot at the Rio Olympics.
The qualifier for the Olympics is scheduled in Venezuela from July 3. “Since pro boxers are allowed to take part, I want to play the qualifier. This is a matter of representing the country, why should I leave the opportunity,” said Vijender on Monday.
However, his UK-based promoter and head of Queensberry Promotions, Francis Warren, didn’t approve of Vijender’s dream. “I won’t at all be happy if he wants to go there. As I see it, there is no time. Of course, he is his own man, he has his own mind but that cannot hinder what we have planned for him because it’s taken a year to reach where he has. He has contractual obligations with us,” said Warren.
THRASH IT OUT
Vijender seemed to have made up his mind. “Yes, the promoters have been right in showing their discontent with my Olympic plan because we are legally bound to them by contract. But a contract doesn’t mean they have full control on my decisions. I will take the decisions and will sit and discuss, even if it asks for any legal formality. If I get a good legal advice, I would surely want to go.
“I know the promoter has spent a lot of money, but at the end of the day if I am not happy, it doesn’t make sense. If there is a chance in Venezuela and if I have to qualify, I have to inform the authorities about what I will be doing ,” he said.
“If Vijender wins on July 16, he will enter the top-15 of the WBO rankings. From there, we are looking at a world title bout in the next few months. It (going to the Olympic qualifiers) is not something he can decide on his own. He will have to discuss with us and we will do that behind closed doors,” said Warren.
Vijender’s Olympic plan looks un realistic as Vik as Kris han could also take part in the qualifier in 75 kg. “If Vikas wins the berth, I will be happy for him. I don’t have a problem because I will then try in 81kg category. It is the Olympics and we should not be fighting amongs teach other,” said Vijender.