I'm tough coz I grew up having ghee, dahi in a Haryana village: Vijender Singh

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Vijender Singh

I'm tough coz I grew up having ghee, dahi in a Haryana village: Vijender Singh

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Arun S Kaimal


Indian boxer Vijender Singh is gearing up for his maiden title fight in June at Delhi and is extending an invitation for the match to everyone from the PM to Sachin Tendulkar. Speaking about his maiden title bout, the 30-year old opened up about his training and how Haryana shaped him.

Vijender had made his pro-boxing debut in October last year and has been on an unbeaten run, defeating Sonny WhitingDean GillenSamet Hyuseinov and Alexander Horvath via knockouts. The boxer, who will next face Frenchman Matiouze Royer on April 30, talked about how Haryanvi diet helped him get strong. The 30-year old had said that he grew up eating ghee and dahi, when his last opponent Alexander Horvath talked about drinking snake blood for “supernatural powers”.

“Aaj meri diet change ho gayi hai (My diet has changed now), but my body became tough because I had shudh desi ghee and dahi while growing up in a village. Outside India, I am an Indian, but I am also a proud Haryanvi. I was pained by the violence during the Jat agitation. Whenever India and Haryana needs me, I am there," Vijender told ToI in an exclusive interaction

Although his maiden title bout is still two months away, the veteran has set his eye on winning it after winning four bouts out of four in his professional career.

"I am satisfied with my current performance, and by June, I will be 100% ready," the 30-year old said.

When asked about how he got a title bout so early in the career, he said, "There is a guy from Ukraine who won the Olympic gold and when he turned pro, he simply went for the world title. If the champion is fine with the challenge, then there is no problem."

Vijender’s fifth bout against Frenchman Matiouze Royer on April 30 will be an eight-round fight after going through four and six rounds till now. In preparation for the eight-round contest, the boxer said that he is working hard to build up his stamina for the fight.

"I have to do long sparring sessions, running, weight training, swimming, etc. Boxing is not just maar peet. There is technique involved and you have to think fast. These days, at home, I complete my entire training schedule every day," said the former World Championship bronze medallist.

The 2008 Olympics bronze medallist also expressed the hope of participating in the Olympics once again with The International Boxing Association (AIBA) planning to allow professional boxers in Olympics.

"Of course, ekumeed jagi thi (there is a hope). Par sabka dhyan Olympics pe hai (Everyone is concentrated on Olympics) and nobody is bothered about the suspended Indian Boxing Federation. A boxer can't qualify for the Olympics if there is no federation. Qualification matches are going on in China right now, but nobody cares about who is fighting. There's no administration and Indian boxers have been facing difficulties for the last three years," Vijender said.

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