'I am ready to fight for Commonwealth, World title'
Jaipur: Indian boxing's poster boy Vijender Singh now has his eyes trained on the Commonwealth and World Championship title, the hunger for success not quite satiated by his 10th straight win on the pro circuit.
The 32-year-old Vijender last night floored West African Boxing Union Middleweight champion Ernest Amuzu with an unanimous verdict to retain his WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific Super middleweight titles. The Commonwealth Super Middleweight title is currently held by Great Britain's Luke Blackledge, a very talented 27- year-old boxer with 23 wins, including eight knockouts, from 30 fights.
While Blackledge could prove to be his toughest opponent so far, for the time being India's Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist was delighted to have signed off the year on a high.
"Happy to end this year on a winning note. Now I will look forward to play at least two titles next year — Commonwealth and World title. I would like to thank the people of Jaipur for making this show a big success and thanks to all my fans across India for their support," Vijender said after his bout at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
He added: "I am really happy on winning this fight. I know he was a tough fighter and that is why the fight continued till 10 rounds, but yes, I was sticking to the strategy planned by my coaches, and that helped me in winning this fight."
Asked about Pakistani British boxer Amir Khan's challenge, Vijender said the time has come to settle the issue.
"He has boasted that he has two world titles, now I too have two world titles, so we should have a fight. Despite having different weight categories the bout can be arranged.
We have seen such bouts having boxers of different weight categories," said Vijender. Coming back to his latest fight, he said there were a few anxious moments during the 10-round bout, and praised his Ghanian opponent.
"He is a tough guy, I kept searching for an opportunity to knock him down but somehow he survived. I have to admit that he is a durable boxer who can prolong a fight. After the initial rounds I realised this was going to be long battle."
He refuted the charge that the African was not a worthy opponent considering his low ranking.
"I know he is quite low in ranking as compared to me. But one blow can decide the fight. He posed a challenge in the first two rounds and when I started dominating all of a sudden I sustained a deep cut on my forehead and for a moment it appeared that all was finished.
"I was shaken but fortunately there came a break, giving me the time to recoup again."
Vijender's promoter, Neerav Tomar of IOS, too was hopeful of a bout with Amir.
"We have seen such fights before — like between Mayweather and Pacquiao — then why a fight between Vijender and Amir cannot be arranged. In fact, we are working on it, and hopefully it will take place.
"Amir is 72 (kg) and presently Vijender is 76.2 and if he has to come down it can be tough for him. His trainer's advice would be the deciding factor," Tomar said.