New Delhi: Star boxer Vijender Singh has of late been putting in the hard yards without a goal, thanks to the suspension on the Indian Boxing Federation (IABF), which has rendered the country's boxers ineligible to compete in any international event.
"You can say I am training without any goal because we don't know when the ban will be lifted," Vijender, who is currently undergoing a camp in Patiala, said today. Hoping for an early resolution of the electoral mess that led to IABF's suspension by the world body AIBA late last year, the 27-year-old boxer felt the ban might impact the team's preparation for the World Championship in September, which is followed by the Asian Games.
"We can practice as much we can but if we do not get international exposure our performance will definitely go down. All boxers want this ban to be lifted soon," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by TERI.
Vijender believed that wrestler Sushil Kumar, who narrowly missed out on the Padma Bhushan award recently,
deserved the honour for being the only Indian to win back-to-back medals in Olympics. "Obviously he deserves it as he won back to back at the Olympics. He should have got a Padma Award. I hope he is considered for these awards soon," he said.
Chief boxing coach, G S Sandhu, comforted the boxers yesterday, saying the deadlock will be broken soon as the Indian Olympic Association has sought time from the IOC. "I spoke to my coach G S Sandhu, he said hopefully things will be sorted out soon. IOC has given time to IOA to meet," he said.
Addressing a young audience, Vijender revealed that his quarterfinal loss to Uzbek boxer Abbos Atoev in the London Olympics last year still rankles him and termed it as his 'biggest failure' in life.
"I get scared when I think about that moment thinking what had happened that day. I do not like losing. My biggest failure was that fight. I was very disappointed because I was confident of beating him. It was a big blow to me," Vijender said.
Vijender also expressed hope that aggression in Indian youth will help take the country in the right direction. "Young people like boxing because of aggression involved in the sport. There is lot of aggression in Indian youth. I watch it on TV and newspapers, our youth is good and special. The country will change for better because of our youth."
The boxer has plans to start a boxing academy near Delhi, which is likely to materialise by next year, he said. "I have planned to set up an academy near Delhi. I hope it starts next year as it is still in process. It would be a boxing academy-cum-education centre for both girls and boys," Vijender said.