India's first professional boxer Vijender Singh gave an exclusive interview to Zee Media, where he talked about a lot of subjects ranging from his first Pro bout to shifting his base from Haryana to Manchester and many other interesting aspects.
Here are the excerpts...
What's the major difference in being a professional and an amateur boxer?
I think, my amateur boxing experience is helping me here. Now I am focusing on my techniques. I just have had two professional fights thus far, so still have a long way to go in Pro boxing. I have to work hard and learn a lot of things. So at the moment I am not in that celebration mode. I will only celebrate once I have two-three titles under my belt.
Where you nervous before your first Pro bout as there was so much buzz in India about it?
Yes, I was nervous. A sense of responsibility and fear was also there. Lot of things were running at a same time in my mind, as I knew that a lot of people were ready to criticise me. But when things fell in place, people appreciated me for a good start.
Did you expect to finish the bout with a knock out punch?
No, I didn't. But at times the timing sets so perfectly while landing a punch, and that becomes a knockout punch. So yes timing of punches were perfect.
Do you think you are a bit late to join Pro boxing or are you satisfied with the timing?
The time when I lost in the quarter-finals of London Olympics, people started commenting that I am finished and should leave the sport. And now the same set of people are saying that I should have participated in Rio Olympics. You can't stop them, it's always better to do your own work.
Do you have the desire to become a World Champion one day?
They say, one should see dreams. Because when those dreams become real, it gives you the satisfaction. I also see dreams, be it becoming a World Champion or any other thing. It's a fantasy world. I just believe in working hard.
In India, people attach Pro boxing with glamour and money. What was your thinking behind turning Pro?
I think all the sports are glamorous. Be it cricket or any other sports. I took the step, so that it can make way for other young Indian boxes too. During the World Championship in Doha, many UK promoters were excited about Indian boxers and they wanted more representatives from India. I think 10-15 years down the line people will appreciate my step.
Indian's want your Pro fight to take place in this country? So when can they expect this?
Next year, 100 per cent. Just two months have left in this year. So next year I will definitely fight in India or we might start a Pro-league in India, where Indian and foreign boxes can participate.
Do you think Pro boxing will become successful in India?
I have read somewhere that wrestling league is going to start in India. So it's a good thing that a market is getting ready for a particular sport. Kabbadi League has become very successful in India. In UK, I have seen a culture that people go out to watch different sports, be it boxing, football or rugby. People especially take out time to watch these sports. Here in India people take a sport as a time pass thing.
Now you have shifted you base to Manchester, do you miss India?
I miss India like any thing. As they say if you want to know about the good and bad things about your country, you should leave you homeland for some time.