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We are in long term talks with Amir Khan for a potential fight in India: Vijender Singh

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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16.44K   //    17 Jul 2016, 11:24 IST
Vijender is now on a 7:0 unbeaten streak 

Vijender Singh extended his unbeaten streak to 7:0 by defeating Australia’s Kerry Hope to lift the WBO Asia Pacific Champioship belt in New Delhi yesterday. The Indian pugilist will now climb into the world top 15, a first for a professional boxer from the country. He will have to defend his title again in the next two months. However, the most exciting revelation has come from the 30-year old’s promoter Francis Worren, 

He said, “It is definitely a long term plan for us to have an Amir Khan fight here in India. The India-Pakistan rivalry here in the country will be huge, and judging by tonight’s turnout, the craze has just begun. We are in talks with Amir’s team, we know he wants the fight and I know Vijender wants the fight. So, we have to decide on which is the correct time. Since they’re in different weight categories, hence one has to gain or cut weight, we are mainly discussing that at the moment.” 

Speaking about the same, Vijender said, “ Our weight categories are very different, hence we have to first decide who makes the transition. Let’s see there is nothing confirmed as of now, but if a fight does happen it will be in India only.” Vijender will be on break for the next month or so, before beginning his title defence. He is likely to face reigning Commonwealth Champion Luke Blackledge, who refused to fight in yesterday’s series of matches. 

Next goal is Commonwealth title: Vijender Singh’s promoter Francis Worren

Worren added, “If Vijender doesn’t decide to defend his belt in the next 120 days, we will look for a chance to fight Luke for the Commonwealth title. We will also decide whether to fight against pugilists from the top 15 or look at lower ranked opponents to defend our title. I am confident about Vijender’s growth trajectory and if he does end up fighting Luke, I think it would be an easy victory for him.” 

Comparing his Olympic medal to the pro belt victory, Vijender explained how different both entities were. He said, “the Olympic medal means everything to me, it’s because of that particular medal that people know me across India. But this victory is equally special as it signalled the arrival of pro boxing in India. This will help Indian boxers earn more money and garner more exposure. They are two very different things.” 

He added, “I would also like to thank Kerry Hope for the amazing fight. This is the first time I’ve fought ten rounds, would like to thank him for taking me the entire distance.” Earlier, Amir Khan had also expressed interest over a potential fight against Vijender. 

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Sports journalist, dream to see India at the pinnacle of the sporting landscape one day.
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