New Delhi: It may not go down as the history making moment, but will certainly be remembered as a watershed moment for Indian professional boxing. Former Olympic champion Vijender Singh made a successful foray into professional ring with an easy win over Sonny Whiting of Britain.
In his debut middleweight pro bout, the Indian boxer registered a thumping win over Whiting -- a three-bouts old in the circuit who had a 2-1 win-loss record -- with referee stopping the contest in the penultimate round for a technical knockout win in Manchester.
Vijender entered the ring with a high beat Punjabi song blazing to the applause of a sizeable number of supporters. Wearing a green and white shorts but without head-gear, he soon got into the action, cornering his opponent with a couple of early body blows. Just before the end of first round, Vijender landed a couple of left-right combination jabs which unsettled the Briton for moments.
Whiting seemed to start the second round sprightly, but failed to keep up the tempo and soon conceded the grounds, falling on the ropes as Vijender increased the attack. Towards the end of the round, Whiting tried to fight back, only to find the Indian boxer ducking couple of close throws thanks to some quick footworks.
Vijender somehow allowed his opponent to attack him as the third round started with a flurry punches from the Briton. But the Olympic medalist from India invoked his pedigree with a barrage of cuts and straight jabs to force the referee to stop the contest.
For the record, Vijender created history as an amateur by becoming India's first Olympic and World Championships medallist. And with the win, he can finally put to rest all the negative press he had received recently for turning professional.
After signing up with Queensberry Promotions in July, the 29-year-old was training under renowned Lee Beard, who was formerly associated with stars like Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Sr.