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' TRAINING TOUGHER THAN BOUTS'.

Sparring with champions has made Vijender abetter boxer

AFTER two gruelling months in Britain, where he had to think only of boxing, Vijender Singh is in India on a week- long visit for celebrating Diwali with friends and family.

Though he has been into boxing for 15 years, the two- month experience on the professional circuit, where he won both his bouts with knockouts, has made Vijender a better pugilist.

The boxer is also enjoying the adulation showered on him by Britain's Asian community.

The 30- year- old boxer said the pro boxing training regime has been the biggest challenge for him in his new venture.

" It has been an extremely tough

time. The bout is the final product but it's training which consumes most of my time. Right from training, technique, number of rounds, weight of gloves, footwork, style and defence, everything is different from amateur boxing," Vijender told M AIL T ODAY on Thursday.

" I spar with boxers who have been world, European or Asian champions. It's brutal. They want to outbox you in training. The sessions are so powerpacked that one can't lose focus, or else you will lose rhythm. I spar six to eight rounds and a lot of energy and stamina goes into it." During the bouts, boxers unleash attacks from the word go. Vijender, however, finds them easier than the training.

" Training is tougher than bouts. In a bout, you know your opponent weeks in advance. You are provided video clippings.

It helps you prepare according to his strengths and weaknesses.

Training takes more energy but if you train hard with two or three good sparring partners, you fight well.

" England has a welldeveloped pro boxing culture. Though I have been into boxing for a long time, I experienced certain new things, like pre- bout press conferences and weigh- ins.

Initially I didn't know what to say but now I am getting used to them." What makes Vijender feel at home is the adulation from the Asian community.

He was invited to the roof of House of Commons by British Parliamentarian Keith Vaz.

" Vaz told me I was the fifth Indian to receive that honour, after Rajiv Gandhi, Sunil Gavaskar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan." Reflecting on his two professional victories, Vijender said: " You can't go by results.

Both my opponents had experience of pro boxing while I was a newcomer. It's physically and mentally very taxing to fight in the ring. I probably won by knockouts because I had put in a lot of dedication and hard work." Star Indian boxer is back home on a week- long visit to celebrate Diwali with friends & family

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 13, 2015
Words:459
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