India’s star pro-boxer Vijender Singh won his maiden WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Championship title beating Australia’s defending champion Kerry Hope in one of the most extraordinary performance of his career at Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.
With this major win, he remains undefeated with seven wins in a row, giving him an entry in the top-15 of the world in the middleweight category, and a shot at the world title. Also, he became the first Indian to win a major title in pro-boxing .
Kerry Hope was deemed as the most experienced and highly rated opponent of Vijender’s career and yet after an excruciating bout of 10 rounds which lasted for 45 minutes, he managed to carve out a 98-92, 98-92,100-90 verdict to extend his record to seven wins with from as many fights.
“I never thought this fight will go on for 10 rounds. This title is for my country, for my people. Whatever I have done, the credit goes to my coach, mentors and the hard work they put in. Definitely, this will help Indian boxing in the long run,” Vijender said after the win.
The first pro-boxing fight in India drew a lot of politicians, cricket and Bollywood celebrities in attendance including Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and Rajeev Shukla , Sports Minister Vijay Goel, Cricketers Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh , Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom and actor Randeep Hooda.
After he was unanimously declared the winner by all three judges, congratulatory messages were showered upon him by a lot of celebrities and eminent personalities including the Prime Minister who expressed his good wishes stating that Vijender displayed immense skill, strength, and stamina. The President congratulated him for making the whole nation proud with his victory.