December 17, 2016 10:28:10 pm
For all of his noise and huge claims, Francis Cheka turned out to be a tame opponent for the ‘King’. As Singh is King blared over the public announcement system at the Thyagraj Stadium, Vijender Singh had retained his WBO Asia Pacific Super middleweight title and it had only taken him three rounds. In fact, it had taken him even lesser. Where Cheka spew and spit blood after a minute and 56 seconds into the third round, Vijender pointed at his corner that this was all done. The referee and the ring announcer confirmed the obvious – a technical knockout.
Even before the official word, the flag was out and it was unfurled in all its might and glory as the Indian celebrated with his trainer and team.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist pointed at Cheka who had been forced to retreat to his corner after being handed a massive jab from the India’s right. And with that, Vijender had made it 8-0 in Pro Boxing and successfully defended his title.
If the first two rounds were any indication, this result wouldn’t come as a surprise to any. Vijender displayed resolute defence comprising both usage of both hands to block any attacks and perfect movement of his feet to move side-to-side and back-and-forth.
Later Vijender in his usual polite manner said, “I spent two months in Manchester to prepare. There have been plenty of sparring and training into this title fight. And in this retaining of the title. Thanks to everyone for the support and to my team for sticking by my side. I don’t need to say much, I believe in punch power and thanks to everyone.”
In what was an anticlimax of events, the Bhiwani born boxer was never really phased in the bout. He came out in confidence, even had the cheek for some showboating and soon enough, had the crowd up in ruptures. The packed audience might have hoped for a longer fight to see their star in action but the early wrap-up didn’t seem to affect their celebrations one bit.
Promoter Neerav Tomar said Vijender’s progress on to the world stage will take time and it is being worked at by all parties concerned. “We’re going to take this step by step. We might go to UK or China and see how we progress with Vijender Singh.
Earlier in the undercard bouts, it was a dominant showing by Indian boxers with four of the five bouts seeing an Indian hand being raised.
Rajesh Kumar, Deepak Tanwar, Dharmender Grewal and Kuldeep Dhanda all won their respective bouts until Pardeep Kharera lost to Scott Edwards in what was a highly controversial decision.
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