Patiala: "There was a little bit of pressure but I am relaxed now", said star boxer Vijender Singh as he dug from his wealth of experience to present a strong case for selection in the trials for the World Championships to be held from October 11 to 27.
The 27-year-old, who was India's first medallist in the World Championships -- a bronze in 2009, took to the ring in a packed hall against rising boxer Sukhdeep Singh, who fought him without a headguard.
"There was a little bit of pressure, it is just that I am good at hiding it. But I kept getting better with every round and ultimately, I am feeling good about my game," the former world number one in middleweight said in a chat after the bout.
"I am happy with my performance in the trials but I can always do better. But for the time being, I am just relaxed that I did well in my comeback," added the boxer, who went through quite a bit of turmoil earlier this year after getting implicated in a drug scandal, in which he was later cleared.
Asked if he felt any more tested than the usual, the Haryana-lad said it was bound to happen after the break.
"I had stayed away for sometime, so obviously it would show slightly but overall I was satisfied with the performance. It is actually good to see that I have challengers and that too strong challengers," he said.
"It would be my fourth World Championship (to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan) in a row, provided I am selected, which I should be," he added with a wink.
Blessed with a son recently, Vijender said he was enjoying fatherhood.
"I have named him Abir, a name that I personally like very much and also it starts with the initials of my wife, Archana," he laughed. Also in the trials today, Sukhdeep was the only boxer to take the ring without a headguard, a safety gear which will not be used in the World Championships as per the new International Boxing Association (AIBA) rules.
Asian Championships silver-medallist L Devendro Singh, meanwhile, was forced out of the trials after suffering a cut above his eyes. However, given his good form, the 20-year-old's case would be considered by the selectors.
"We all know he is a world-class boxer and we would certainly consider his case during the selection meeting," said national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.
The team is likely to be announced in the next couple of days.