Responsible for shaping up Vijender Singh ahead of his eagerly-awaited professional debut, globally renowned trainer Lee Beard is mighty impressed by the star Indian boxer's technical know-how and the sheer power he puts into his punches. (Vijender Singh Says He Can't Wait for His Debut)
Beard, who has formerly trained pro stars like Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Sr, has been grooming Vijender for more than a month in Manchester. (Vijender Singh Hopes to Emulate Manny Pacquiao)
Vijender will be making his pro debut on Saturday against Britain's Sonny Whiting.
"In my analysis, Vijender is technically a very very talented boxer. You rarely see a natural talent like him. That's something which is very impressive about him," Beard told PTI in an interview from Manchester.
"He is a very experienced guy at the amateur level. He knows his punches and he punches very hard. All in all, I rate him as a brilliant boxer and I have very high hopes from him," he said.
But Vijender is not without faults either and his jabs is something that Beard worked on during their training stint, which has been on for more than a month.
"Every player has his own strengths and weaknesses and it's not that I am trying to teach him anything. But I have tried to make sure that his jabbing is better. That was one area which needed to be worked on.
"Besides, I have also tried to make sure that his body attacks are more precise and effective. These are some of the areas that we have together worked on in the last one month or so," Beard said.
"He is a hard-working guy. Although he is making his pro debut at 29, I would say he is in a very good space. He has been getting used to the new routine, new technique, new environment quite smoothly," he added.
The 39-year-old Beard, who trained in taekwondo and kickboxing before becoming a boxing coach, was also all praise for Vijender's work ethic.
"He goes through brutal sparring sessions everyday to be ready. He has that hunger to be the best and for that he has pushed himself quite a lot, which is rare and admirable. I am very excited about Saturday when the baby would be finally out and hopefully, he will create waves," said the Brit.
Lauding Vijender's amateur achievements, which include being India's first Olympic and World Championships medallist, Beard said the Indian does not seem even a tad bit overwhelmed by the challenge that awaits him.
"He has dealt with pressure all his amateur career and that has helped him here. He seems at ease and this will work well for him," he said.
"He has developed quite brilliantly and would only get better as we go along," said Beard.