SIGNING Indian amateur star Vijender Singh could well be a shrewd move for Francis Warren and Queensberry Promotions.
The caveats are clear. Singh’s style of boxing is quite ‘flighty’, as in mobile, light on his feet and well suited to computer scoring. His Olympic bronze medal was won a long time ago, 2008, and at 29 years old Singh can’t afford to spend too much time adjusting to the professional ranks. China’s Zou Shiming was in a similar situation, much more decorated in the amateurs, but he didn’t manage to make the grade at world level. At the most recent Commonwealth Games Antony Fowler really bullied Vijender in the final.
But, a star of Bollywood movies, famous in India, it’s possible that Singh will attract a new fanbase that hasn’t hitherto been drawn to professional boxing. It will be fascinating see if his popularity will translate to the pro sport.
And you never know, he might go far. In 2008, in his first bout at the Olympics, Singh beat Badou Jack (see picture above), now the reigning WBC super-middleweight champion.
The man himself though declined to target anyone in particular.
“There’s no one in particular I want to box,” Vijender said. “I can fight with anyone.
“Turning pro, it’s all about hard work and it’s all about will power.”