A few years ago, I had the opportunity of witnessing Vijender Singh fight it out in the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi. It was the first time he was competing in the national capital since the Commonwealth Games. The stakes were high, and the atmosphere was intense. Vijender Singh was up against Australian boxer Kerry Hope for a stake at the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Title. He was quick, agile and did not get ahead of himself with over confidence or fancy footwork and style to please the crowd. He went on to win the title and it was one amongst the many milestones that Vijender Singh was accomplishing year after year ever since he chose to turn professional. This is what embodies him, the epitome of consistency, hard work and being grounded,his biggest asset of all.It was a treat to watch him live and more importantly experience the excitement of a crowd backing a world champion on home soil. Not just any old-world champion, rather one who is the son of the soil.
Prior to his recent loss in Goa, Vijender Singh had a 12-0 unbeaten record. His previous victories include Francis Cheka, Dean Gillen, and Mike Snider. He has had a total of 8 knockouts and 4 unanimous decisions in his favour out of a total of 13 fights. Stats never lie and it is this very record that Vijender Singh will keep in mind when he continues.He has ripened with age since he first began competing back in the Bhiwani Boxing Club. It was the Afro Asian Games in 2003 that was the turning point for a young Vijender who was just 18 years of age at that time. He won a silver medal against all odds and it was this actually propelled him into the boxing circuit as a promising boxer. There was no looking back from there. More recently he was quoted saying "Winning and losing is a part of the game. It was just not my day. I always believe in working hard and I'm sure I'll make a strong comeback to the ring soon."
Maintaining consistency in a sport is often considered the toughest aspect about the competitive world. One needs to be in the best form all the time. The consistency is bound to be broken though and the day it happens is when everyone has an opinion about the person concerned. But this counts for nothing when it comes to sportsmen who continue to persist in their objective and their goals. Vijender Singh is one of them and there can be no doubts about witnessing a comeback from him in the near future.
It was one famous quote from Rocky Balboa, who incidentally is one of Vijender Singh's boxing idols, that inspired millions of people all around the world to continue their pursuit in life. "It aint about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"The words resonate with the boxer from Haryana, a man who has given so much for the country both inside and outside the boxing ring. From vowing to give up his Khel Ratna, to winning a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, Vijender Singh has shown himself to be a true leader and an inspiration. He truly is a fighter, born and bre