Indian boxing star Vijender Singh was very happy, excited and fatigued at the same time after being crowned the WBO Asia Pacific Champion. He says that he will relish the triumph for a while and then look at the possibility of a showdown with Pakistan-origin British star Amir Khan, who is keen for a face-off with him.
In a 10-round contest, the 30-year-old dasher secured his seventh straight win and the Super Middleweight title by outlasting former WBC European champion Kerry Hope. He was cheered vehemently by euphoric home fans last night. He was moved forward to the 15th spot in the WBO rankings by the victory and he will have to defend his title in the next two months.
Vijender dedicated the triumph to the late Muhammad Ali and got just a few moments to celebrate with his team before being asked “what next”?
“I want to take some rest, may be for a month or so and we will see after that,a�?responded Vijender.
But when the questions about his future did not stop in the post-bout press conference,he finally listed his options.
“My world ranking will be in the top 15. I will get harder fights now but I am ready for it. I will work with my coaches and my team and we will go for it.
“Mine and Amir’s weight categories are different. So, in case he increases his weight or I decrease mine then we can work it out. We are thinking about it, so let’s see. I hope that when that big fight happens, it happens in India only,” added Vijender. The fans were acknowledged by him several times during the presser for packing the 5,000-capacity Thyagaraj Stadium.
World champion Saul Canelo Alvarez was taken on by Amir, a former WBA world champion and primarily a lightweight boxer. Amir had recently tried himself in the middleweight. However, it ended in disaster for him when he was eliminated in the sixth round.
The desire to take on Vijender in India before the showdown with Alvarez was expressed by Amir but it remains to be seen whether he would give it a shot now after moving back to his original weight category.
“In the long term, we will keep an eye on Amir Khan as well. That fight over here will be phenomenal, it will be a massive fight. We have tentatively talked with Amir’s team, I know they want it, I know Vijender wants it,” informed Vijender’s British promoter Francis Warren of the Queensberry Promotions.