Ace boxer Vijender Singh set for comeback: A look at his top five bouts
Reigning WBO Oriental and WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight champion Vijender Singh is set for a professional boxing return next month, with his opponent and the fight venue still to be revealed.
Vijender, the first Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics, turned to professional boxing in 2015. He hasn't been beaten yet in 12 pro bouts and has recorded eight knockouts.
Even before turning pro, the Haryana boxer had brought his skills to the fore at the mega-events like the Olympics, World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Let us turn back the clock and look at some of the top bouts in his career.
Vijender Singh vs Carlos Gongora - 2008
Vijender Singh was assured of becoming the first Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics after he outpunched Carlos Gongora of Ecuador in the quarterfinal of the 75kg category bout in 2008 Beijing.
The Bhiwani-boxer was ahead of his Ecuadorian rival in all four rounds of the bout. He registered a dominant victory with the final score of 9-4. The Indian threw a mix of left-hand jabs and uppercuts that left his opponent reeling.
Gongora, however, looked to close the gap in the final round and managed to do so but failed to overpower the Indian.
Vijender Singh vs Abbos Atoev - 2010
Vijender Singh, then World No.1, bagged a gold medal in the 75kg category of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games as he beat world champion Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan 7-0 at the Foshan Gymnasium.
It helped Vijender avenge his defeat to Atoev in the semifinal of the World Championship. It was a tough task for Vijender to face the two-time world champion and more so as he was fighting with a broken left thumb.
The Indian started on the backfoot as a hook off Atoev landed on Vijender’s left thumb and dislocated it. His confidence, however, was unbroken and he used his right hand to outpunch the Uzbek boxer and win the bout.
Vijender Singh vs Terrell Gausha - 2012
Vijender Singh edged past his American opponent Terrell Gausha with a thrilling 16-15 verdict in the men's middleweight 75 kg category of the London Olympic Games to enter the quarterfinals.
Vijender had taken a slender lead after the first round but his opponent retaliated immediately and leveled the score at 5-5 at the end of round 2.
The Indian, however, went in with a more attacking approach in the final round and managed to eke out a win.
Vijender Singh vs Francis Cheka - 2016
Vijender registered his eighth consecutive pro boxing win as he knocked out experienced Francis Cheka from Tanzania.
It was a lopsided contest as the Haryana boxer defended his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title within 10 minutes. The third round was decisive in the contest as a fierce jab from Vijender took Cheka off guard and guided him to yet another victory.
Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali - 2017
Vijender Singh's stature in pro boxing rose as he defeated his Chinese opponent Zulpikar Maimaitiali in a close bout to retain the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title in Mumbai, 2017.
By the virtue of the win, Vijender also snatched the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight title from the Chinese, who is nine years younger to him. It also recorded his ninth consecutive win in his professional career.
Backed by a strong home crowd, the Indian was at the top of his game, as he used his experience to get out of sticky situations. He also used his height to his advantage, with his hooks landing straight into the opponent's face. The Chinese, however, held a high guard but failed to withstand the Indian pro's onslaught, Singh sealing the win by unanimous decision.