Vijender Singh, who on Saturday won the WBO Asia-Pacific Championship title belt in New Delhi, claims that irrespective of whichever crown he wins in his career nothing can get bigger than an Olympic medal.
"The Olympic medal is definitely the No.1 achievement of my career. That Olympic medal made me Vijender Singh which is why people recognise me today," Vijender, who won an Olympic bronze eight years ago in Beijing, told NDTV.
"I still remember it was August 23, 2008. Our boxing coach GS Sandhu told us that another of our boxers Jitender Singh had lost. I then told him that I will do it. I don't know what happened in the ring just that at the end my name Vijender Singh from India was announced. My cellphone kept ringing after that."
Vijender in 2008 became the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal.
"Two days later I fought the Cuban guy but I lost the bout probably because I may have lost focus. Nevertheless, the Olympic medal is special and I keep it with me."
While talking about his career high, the 30-year-old also mentioned about the worst moment of his career.
"Losing the quarterfinal fight at the 2012 London Games was the worst moment of my life. I had beaten the Uzbek guy earlier in the Asian Games but that was not my day," lamented Vijender, who now has a seven-match unbeaten streak in professional boxing.
"One day I beat the World No.1, the next day I am out. I desperately wanted to win two back-to-back Olympic medals."
Th Bhiwani pugilist is hopeful the Indian boxing contingent will grab a few medals at the 2016 Rio Games.
"I am hoping for a better performance than 2012. I am 100 percent sure, I think positive. In 2008 when we got a medal, nobody expected it from us. Umeed pe dunya kayam hai," concluded Vijender.