New Delhi: To make up his mind for the professional plunge was no big task but to be in perfect shape for the grind, star Indian boxer Vijender Singh is toiling 8 to 10 hours a day as he gears up for his much-awaited debut bout on October 10 in Manchester.
"It's like going to an office except that it happens to be a gym in my case," Vijender told PTI over phone from Manchester, detailing his training regimen for the eagerly-anticipated contest, which .
"The day in the gym starts at 10-10:30am, there is a lunch break around 1pm and then back to the gym for an evening session," the 29-year-old said.
His voice slightly groggy owing to the cold he has caught, Vijender said a typical training day includes workout sessions, sparring sessions with different partners and rigorous swimming.
"By the time I am done, I just crash. It is gruelling but I am enjoying the grind. My body hasn't felt better," said India's first Olympics and World Championships medallist.
His opponent for the bout is yet to be revealed by his promoters -- Queensberry and IOS -- but Vijender says knowing that is the last of his concerns.
"How does it matter? In amateur boxing I used to know my opponent either a day before the bout or on the morning of the bout. Here, I hope to know who it is at least a week before the bout. That's enough time because ultimately, it's not about the opponent, it's about me, how I cope with the challenge. I prefer to focus on myself," he said confidently.
"Honestly, I don't worry about anything. My job, when I enter the ring, is to either thrash the other guy or be prepared to be thrashed so I should be focussed on myself," he added.
Vijender's professional plunge was mired in controversies when his employers Haryana Police refused to grant him permission for the move. After some legal tussle, the department finally relented and gave him the go ahead.
Vijender is currently training under renowned trainer Lee Beard and asked how the experience has been, Vijender said the Brit has made some changes to his overall technique.
"I am a straight-punching counter-attacker and I have clean straight punches. But right now I am working on body blows. In professional boxing, body punches are very important. That's what I have been focussing on. I am targetting the body more often now," he explained.
Right now, Vijender's training staff is all-British and the Haryana lad said he would think of hiring an Indian once he has a title to show for.
"I am comfortable with the British training staff. They have been excellent. Once I win a title, I would bring an Indian too. But that's some time away, let me become a big shot first. For the time being, I am content with what I have," he signed off.