Mandeep Jangra becomes first Indian to sign with Roy Jones Jr.

Mandeep Jangra becomes first Indian to sign with Roy Jones Jr.

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Roy Jones Jr. has signed Indian fighter Mandeep Jangra to compete professionally for the next three years, making him the first fighter from his nation to team up with the legendary American boxer. Jangra, who has a 3-0 record, went professional in 2020 and will face American Ryan Rebar on April 1.

Getting picked up by Jones is a significant boost for Jangra, who won the Arjuna Award and defeated USA's Brandon Sandoval in his third professional fight in Plant City, Florida, last March.

The bout with Rebar will be Jangra's fourth in professional boxing. The 54-year-old is regarded as one of the best boxers of all time, and in a phone interview with PTI from Florida, Jangra voiced his delight at the prospect of working with him.

"I have been signed up by the great Roy Jones Jr, and this is huge for me. I mean there can be no one better than him for me as far as my professional boxing career is concerned. This adds a new dimension to my journey in the pro-circuit," Jangra said.

Jangra, who comes from Kharian in Haryana's Sirsa region, was aware that he was the first Indian fighter to train with the legendary American when he talked. The 2013 Asian Championship silver medalist Jangra demolished his previous opponent with composure and efficient striking, and he intends to repeat the performance when he faces his next challenger, known in the pro boxing world as "Square Ring."

"Like me, he also holds a 3-0 record, but I quite confident of overcoming the challenges posed by him without much ado," Jangra said. Once the Indian finished the paperwork and gave Jones a hug, Jones was there with Jangra. Jones Jr. finished his career with a 66-9 record.

His amateur record was likewise quite good, with 121 victories and only 13 losses. Jones, who won a silver medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, seemed to be winning his last fight until one of the most contentious decisions in boxing history cost him the gold.

The IOC even looked into the judges' choice to award the victory to Park Si-Hun, the home fighter, but they found no misconduct. Jones delivered 86 blows to Park's 32 in a blatant mismatch, and the Korean was also given two standing eight-counts and two warnings by the referee.

Notwithstanding the fact that three of the five judges disagreed, even the most ardent local supporters must have believed their guy had won. Years later, when he had already made a name for himself as one of the best, Jones challenged Mike Tyson to a demonstration fight in November 2020. The fight, dubbed "Lockdown Knockdown," was held during the Covid epidemic.

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