CHENNAI: The beauty of boxing lies in those smooth waltzes around the canvas like a professional dancer with half steps, half jabs and occasional lethal punches. Smoother the movement – both hand and feet -- better the boxer.
On Saturday night, Vijender Singh, making a comeback after more than a year’s break, moved with incredible ease as he pummeled his way to another knockout show against Mike Snider in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday night. The US debut he has been dreaming of ever since he turned professional.
Though there was no title on offer, the experience of fighting in the US has left quite an impression on Vijender’s mind. “It was different,” he told this newspaper from Newark. “The atmosphere around the arena, the technique and brutality of the sport, everything is different. No wonder US is called the mecca of professional boxing. Every professional boxer dreams about playing here and making a mark.”
The 33-year-old boxer had a fourth-round knockout. The referee ruled Snider out after Vijender landed a flurry of crushing straight punches on him. “I am learning the craft here. But within the time I spent inside the ring, I felt the sport is more brutal here. I had hit Snider in the second round and I could see him shaking. Elsewhere there might have been a count but the referee asked us to carry on. I said to myself, ‘welcome to America’,” recollected the Beijing Olympic bronze medallist after his 11th consecutive victory since turning pro. “I watched the Shakur (Stevenson) bout also. I think it’s more technical and more brutal here. I got hit in my face in the second round and it really hurt. I have to train harder and introduce changes in my training wherever necessary.”
Though Vijender was expected to win against an unheralded Snider, it was not easy inside the ring because a flailing arm could have landed him in trouble. “He had nothing to lose so he was going all out and I had to be cautious about his movement,” said Vijender.
With the much-talked-about US debut over, the Haryana boxer is going back to Manchester where he will continue training with his coach Lee Beard.
There is another boxer he has in mind though — Athens Olympics silver medallist Amir Khan of the United Kingdom. The UK boxer with Pakistani roots has been taunting Vijender to fight him, of late. “Bring him on,” said Vijender. “He wants to fight me, I am ready. I have been hearing about his challenges and also heard that he has been fighting lower-weight category fighters. Anyways, I am ready to face him.”