Vijender Singh's Switch Due to Federation Infighting?
With his tie up with the Queensberry Promotions company in UK, Vijender Singh has called time on his India career. If the star boxer is to be believed, the never ending controversies of the boxing federation of India have played a role in his career switch.
Vijender Singh's move to full time professional boxing hasn't come as a surprise to many. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist may not have informed too many people about his trip to England, but many in the boxing fraternity sensed it. With age catching up, competition growing in his previous weight category of 75 kg, and not too much success in his new weight category of 81 kg, going professional was a step in the right direction for Vijender, many felt.(Vijender Felt the Time Was Right)
However, when asked if the Indian boxing federation's internal troubles also led to him shifting from amateur to professional, Vijender didn't deny it. "Samajhdar ko ishaara hee kaafi hota hai," (A smart man can read between the lines) Vijender told NDTV after signing his multiple year professional deal. "We don't know where the federation stands today. There are 1-2 people who run the entire fraternity. I think my decision is going to open doors for many other boxers in India."('Good Olympic Medal Prospect Lost')
The Indian boxing federation's first brush with controversy was in 2012, after the London Olympics, when the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) disaffiliated them for discrepancies in their election process. To make matters worse, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was also out of the Olympic fold at the same time. For close to a year, Indian boxers could not compete in any international tournaments, there were no national camps, and no national tournaments either. At last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, not a single boxer, male or female, could manage to win a gold medal.('Shocking Decision')
Boxing India was formed last year, but once again, constant infighting has seen the federation getting derecognized by AIBA. Boxing is currently run by an ad hoc body for the moment.(Vijender Turns Professional)
Though he won't be competing for India again, Vijender is confident his fans will follow his stint as a professional boxer too. "I don't think my fans will be disappointed," Vijender told NDTV. "I am still a boxer. It shouldn't matter to them whether I am an amateur or a professional. I love the tricolor, and I want to see it go high in professional boxing too. That will be my aim. "
Vijender will compete in at least six bouts in his first year as a professional boxer, the details of which are yet to be known.