Vijender to fight Hope for Asia title on July 16

Vijender to fight Hope for Asia title on July 16

Vijender to fight Hope for Asia title on July 16
Vijender Singh’s hot six-bout winning streak will be challenged by Australian Kerry Hope in the IOS-promoted WBO Asia title bout scheduled on July 16 here at the Thyagaraj stadium.

The 30-year-old Bhiwani boxer made a seamless transition to professional career last year and won all his six contests in convincing fashion.  The title bout will be his first fight at home.

“I am eagerly waiting for my title fight. I have put in a lot of hard work in the last six wins. I am looking to remain unbeaten in my seventh fight and win the first big pro-title for my country. Time will decide what happens on July 16,” Vijender said.

The Welsh-born Hope, who shifted to Australia in 2014, hit headlines by beating the highly-rated Grzegorz Proksa for the European title in middle-weight category in 2012. The 34-year-old is also a WBC middleweight champion and moved to super-middleweight category to fight Vijender. With a professional experience of 30 bouts and 23 wins, spanning 12 years, behind him, Hope was neither short of aggression or words.

“Six before me have tried and failed to beat Vijender. So now I will finally end his hope of winning a title. I've been a pro for 12 years, Vijender for not even one.  I know the crowd will be behind him but I like being the underdog," Hope said.

“I have heard about his achievements but all that is in amateur. I have seen nothing from Vijender that worries me or causes any sleepless nights so I am fully confident going into the fight and ready to knock him out.”

The tickets for the bout will go on sale from Tuesday. The first ticket for the bout was presented to former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag on Monday. The tickets have been priced between Rs 1000 to Rs 15,000.

The 10-round contest, the Queensberry Promotions' Francis Warren admitted would be tough for Vijender. “The victory will put Vijender in the top 15 in WBO rankings. It will be tough, yes,” he said.

Meanwhile, with doors now open for professional boxers to participate in the Olympics, Vijender, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, is mulling that option as well.  The final Olympic qualifier for professional boxers is in Venezuela on July 3.

However, he can only make the 75 kg Olympic cut, if Vikas Krishnan fails to qualify in June’s final qualifier.

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