December 14, 2016 1:28:42 am
Looking dapper in blue, Vijender Singh remained confident and shrugged off the routine trash talk volleyed in by his opponent Francis Cheka. Unlike the Tanzanian, Vijender was more measured in choosing his words. “Sometimes I feel I should talk more in the media. But then my conscience won’t allow me to do that and I can’t be fake. For me the simple thing is to be good in the ring and be aggressive there than with the microphone,” he says.
However, he remains upbeat of beating the Tanzanian boxer who is the most experienced of his eight opponents thus far, though with a winless record away from home. “I am very confident. I have put in a lot of hard work for this bout,” he said. Remind him of Cheka’s abysmal record away from the African continent where he’s lost all his bouts, Vijender defiantly says, “He will be losing this time too,” and in just one sentence, without being brash, the former Olympic medallist had summed up his version of trash talk.
On the other corner, Cheka chose to be bold in his message to both Vijender and the Indian audience. “Vijender’s Olympic medal is nothing. I am a World Champion and inter-continental champion. On December 17, Vijender will know why I am a world champion. I feel sorry India has picked Vijender to fight me. Vijender looks scared already. India will be ashamed on Saturday,” said Cheka who has an experience of 43 bouts under him and 32 wins in them.
“December 17 night will decide the kind of training that I and Lee Baird (trainer) had put in. I don’t care who my opponent is. I am 110 percent ready. I will show him who is the best,” Vijender said in response.
He continued catering to the theatrics. “Vijender is like a child who has just gotten into the professional ring and doesn’t know what all challenges will he face. I think on the 17th I will teach him about professional boxing, while punching him hard on his face. I have been preparing very hard for this, this is like a whole new challenge for me, and I am all geared up and set to take him down. Only 4 days to go. My punches will knockout Vijender in the early rounds in front of his home crowd,” he said.
Even with Cheka shoving Vijender during the customary face-off, the Manchester-based boxer showed restrain and would have none of the bait. “I am quite and hold back with words but don’t take me lightly for I will surprise you,” Vijender stated calmly. But then Vijender’s true self possibly came out best in Haryanvi with a simple, one line sentence: “Lath maar ke bhaga dege apne desh. Hum toh yahi bolege bas!”
Then he decided to throw in a little sarcasm. “He thinks I am a beginner in the professional ring, I will just wait for 4 more days and show him what a child’s punch feels like. I have been and will always be the good boy of boxing I only let my punches do the talking. I won this title with so much pride in front of my people, with their support and love and I am not going to let it go that easily,” he said,
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