New Delhi: The WBO Asia-Pacific title won and defended successfully, Indian boxing star Vijender Singh will now be on the prowl for a new belt and could be challenging for the Commonwealth or the Oriental crown in the next couple of months.
Up against Tanzania's former world champion Francis Cheka in his Super Middleweight title defence clash late on Saturday, Vijender took less than 10 minutes to score a knockout win and remain undefeated in his professional career, which is eight fights old now.
Next up for him could be a Commonwealth title fight in Leicester.
The Commonwealth Super Middleweight belt is currently held by British boxer Luke Blackledge, who has 22 wins, two draws and three losses to show for in his 27-fight career so far.
"I don't have any plan for the new year right now. Fighting in Delhi or fighting abroad, it doesn't make a difference to me. We will think about the next opponent," was the 31-year-old Haryana lad's nonchalant response to a query on his schedule for next year after last night's bout.
However, his promoters -- Infinity Optimal Solutions (IOS) -- were a tad more specific with the company's MD Neerav Tomar detailing the possibilities for 2017.
"We have been discussing that probably Vijender might just go back to UK and fight there or in China or in Dubai. So it's not just going to be about fighting in India," Tomar said.
"We are next looking for an opportunity to fight in Leicester, there is a high Indian population there. That's an option potentially next year. We have been debating about the next fight. I think we are going to go for a new title because he has this title. We are going to go for a Commonwealth title or even the inter-continental title. There is a good Russian boxer and there is a good Oriental (Chinese) fighter. That could be in the next couple of months," he explained.
"There is a possibility he might even challenge for the WBO European title because he is fighting mostly in the UK. So he can qualify for that as well," added a spokesperson of Vijender's British promoters Queensberry Promotions.
Vijender, on the other hand, spoke mostly on what he does best, fighting inside the ring. Happy to have ended his season by successfully defending the title he won here in July, India's first Olympic medallist in boxing dedicated the triumph to the country's soldiers who have lost their lives in the year going by.
"I dedicate this victory to our martyred soldiers. I felt bad when, before the fight, I got to know that three soldiers had been martyred in a terror attack in Kashmir (on Saturday). I dedicate this win to all the soldiers who have been martyred this year because it is because of them that this country is there. We are nothing without them. It was depressing to hear that three soldiers died today in a terror attack," he said.
Speaking of his opponent, who had threatened to end his career and even called him a kid before the fight, Vijender reiterated that he always believed in talking through his punches in the ring.
"I have been able to save it (the belt) even though there was so much trash talking before the fight. I am very happy to have defended the title. He got the right punch on his chin and that is why he just forgot everything. He wanted to create pressure on me before the fight with all his big talk but when he got the right, he forgot everything and just wanted to save himself," he said.
"I was thrashing him for fun, I could have hammered him in the second round after that right to the chin but then I wanted to extract revenge for all that he had said about me before the fight. He had called me a kid but I showed him the reality with my boxing. He even tried to bite me on my neck. But I knew he was over after that right.
"I never thought it would be this easy, I also got a bit affected by all his trash-talking but we had a plan and it worked. It has been a hard two months," he added.
Updated Date: Dec 18, 2016 15:30:18 IST