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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.


 

NOTES FROM NEW DELHI: VIJENDER SINGH AND INDIAN BOXING

By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
PhilBoxing.com
18 Dec 2016



DELHI, INDIA – In a country known more for cricket, the boxing fans inside India’s Thyagaraj Sports Complex were certainly full of life. And that is quite an understatement.

The country’s flag was enthusiastically waved as the almost packed arena cheered lustily for the hometown boy Vijender Singh.

The ending may have been anti-climactic but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that screamed their lungs out from start to finish. Tanzanian challenger Francis Cheka tried to get inside Singh’s head during the weigh-in and in the first two rounds. Singh obliged with his own version of taunting.

But it was Singh who landed the more telling punches. After another hard shot from Singh, Chekas’ mouthpiece was out. Referee Danrex Tapdasan halted the action in the third round to return the mouthpiece back but Cheka, with his back turned to the referee, indicated he did not want to continue.

It was a madhouse at ringside. Singh retained his WBO Asia-Pacific super middleweight title and was awarded the title belt by WBO VP for Asia-Pacific Leon Panoncillo.

The 31 year old Singh is a bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Amateur Championships. He also has a gold medal during the 2010 Asian Games. He has the right resume to trigger a surge in the popularity of the ‘Sweet Science’ in his home country. He is now 8-0,7KO’s.

He also has the Bollywood look and made his debut as an actor two years ago.

Also seated at ringside was another boxing royalty in India – Mary Kom. “Magnificent Mary” as she is known won a bronze in the 2012 Olympiad and is a five time world amateur champion.

For the main supporting bout – Scott Edwards of Australia beat India’s Pardeep Kharera by unanimous decision. Scores – Edward Ligas and Mekin Sumon – 58-56, Rakesh Naudiyal – 59-55.

Four other Indian boxers won their respective contests:
Kuldeep Dhanda won by unanimous verdict against Egy Rozten of Indonesia, Dhairmender Grewal also got a unanimous decision against Abasi Kyobe of Uganda, Deepak Tanwar won by TKO in the second round against Suritonyo Bara Boys (67.2kgs) of Indonesia . Referee Surat Soikrachang stopped the fight when Suritonyo was taking punches and not fighting back.

In the opening bout, Rajesh Kumar got a split decision win over Mubaraka Sseguya of Uganda.

The Thyagaraj Stadium was also the venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Whether Singh can duplicate in India what Zou Shiming did for professional boxing in China remains to be seen. He certainly has a developing fan base. But winning a world title in the professional ranks is a whole new different ball game. Zou did it on his second try. Two large Asian countries experiencing a pro boxing resurgence will certainly have a positive effect in the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo - Vijender Singh


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