New Delhi :Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh on Thursday said support from a passionate home crowd will be a big boost for pugilists chasing glory at the Commonwealth Games in October here.
"The home crowd's support should lift the Indians to greater heights," said Vijender, who became the pin-up boy of Indian boxing after winning the bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
His was the first medal for an Indian boxer in the Olympic Games and that caused a big transformation in the way Indian boxers now step into the ring.
"Earlier, Indian boxers were content with mere participation in the Olympics and World Championships, but the aspirations have undergone a dramatic change. They now enter the ring confident of matching the rivals punch for punch," said the 24-year-old.
"At the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, Indian boxers claimed three medals. The tally increased to five in 2006 in Melbourne, but this time at CWG Delhi we are hoping to win eight or nine.
"India's fine show in this year's Commonwealth Boxing Championships has made us hopeful of a big haul of medals. In the last Commonwealth Games, India got one gold medal and that tally could increase to five if we live up to our potential," he said.
Vijender missed the recent National Championships here, but said he was in prime fitness and was pleased with his preparation for the Commonwealth Games that India is hosting for the first time.
The October 3-14 sporting extravaganza will be the first major multi-discipline sport event staged in India since New Delhi played hosts to the 1982 Asian Games.
Vijender is among the six Indian sportspersons chosen as brand ambassadors for Delhi Commonwealth Games.
"It's a big honour to be among the brand ambassadors of the Commonwealth Games, which should be a big hit among sports fans and provide a boost to Indian sportspersons."
The other brand ambassadors are Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar, ace pistol shooter Samaresh Jung, world No 2 woman badminton player Saina Nehwal and four-time World champion woman boxer M C Mary Kom.
The Indian boxing squad for the Commonwealth Games will be finalised after the August 26-28 selection trials in Patiala, where the core group of boxers are currently in a training camp.
"My focus of on winning a gold medal for India," said Vijender, who followed up his Olympic medal with a bronze in the World Boxing Championships.