Kerry Hope: On July 16, there will be 1.25 billion disappointed fans of Vijender Singh

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Kerry Hope: On July 16, there will be 1.25 billion disappointed fans of Vijender Singh

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Arun S Kaimal

06/26/2016

Ahead of Vijender Singh’s maiden title bout, his opponent and former European champion Kerry Hope has started the war of words, this time calling the Indian an amateur boxer. Vijender will take on Hope for the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight championship title on July 16 at New Delhi.

The Olympic bronze medallist, who turned pro last year, has been unbeaten in six bouts so far, winning all of them via knockouts. Hope though, has the experience of 30 bouts, out of which he has won 23, with two of them being knockouts. The Welsh-born Hope, who emigrated to Australia, was a WBC middleweight champion. He had moved a division to super middleweight to take on the Indian. The former European champion has been training hard in Wales, and he has promised to defeat Vijender in front of his own fans.

On 16 July there will be 1.25 billion disappointed fans of Vijender Singh,” Hope said

“I’m leaving no stone unturned in my preparation. Make no mistake, Vijender Singh is in trouble,” said the 34-year-old Southpaw, who has an edge in experience over Vijender with 183 rounds under his belt.

“He knows it and I know it. I saw the fear in his eyes at the press conference. He knows that he’s not in my league. He’s been fighting trash and still seems like an amateur fighter so I am going to show him what professional boxing is all about.

“He’s not used to going long rounds and having to dig deep and find a second wind. I’m going to bring the pressure and he’s going to wilt. On 16 July there will be 1.25 billion disappointed fans of Vijender Singh,” Hope said, reported PTI.

When asked about the support for Vijender from the home fans, Hope downplayed the effect of the crowd and said that in sport “an athlete needs experience, not crowd support”.

“I know there will be an army of support for Singh, but they can’t help him or fight for him. It’ll be just Vijender, the referee and me in the ring when the bell goes,” Hope said.

“Vijender has fought absolutely nobody so far and he’s out of his depth facing me so early in his career. I’m not quite sure what his team were thinking accepting the fight, but I believe he’s been overmatched.

“India is one of the greatest sporting nations on earth but the country will be in a state of mourning when Singh is knocked out by me,” he added, reported PTI. 

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