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Vijender Singh hopes to fight Canelo in New York

NEW DELHI: “Frustrated” with the way his professional stint came to an abrupt halt after he didn’t get a single fight night in the year passing by, Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh has now set his sights on reviving his career with a successful foray into the hub of the pro boxing world – the USA – with legendary promoter Bob Arum.

Vijender, by his own admission, is super excited to join Arum’s Top Rank Promotions where celebrated trainers – Robert Garcia and Freddie Roach, who coaches Manny Pacquiao – are among those helping him hone his skills to match up to the tough standards of the unforgiving USA pro circuit.

According to Vijender, he has been told by his promoter that he could be fighting multiple-time world champion in two weight classes, Mexican Canelo Alvarez, as early as February-March next year. The venue, which Vijender has been pushing for his debut bout in the USA, is the famous Madison Square Garden in New York.

“My next opponent is likely to be Canelo who is fighting Rocky Fielding on December 15 at the Madison Square for the WBA super middleweight world title,” Vijender told TOI on Thursday.

“My promoter has assured me 3 to 5 fight nights in a year, so the first fight would be in Feb-March. Taking the ring at the Madison Square will be a dream come true. Ever since I joined pro boxing (in mid 2015), I always dreamt of fighting there. I have discussed this thing with Arum and he has assured me that it will be done. USA is the mecca of professional boxing and I believe I have reached the right place,” the 33-year-old added.

Vijender, who looked fit and toned, informed that his next fight would see him contesting for the super middleweight world title, which means he’ll be fighting in the 76.2kg division. Canelo has also stepped up his weight and will be fighting Fielding for the same title. The Mexican fighter has held the unified WBA, WBC, Ring magazine and lineal middleweight titles since September 2018.

Vijender last took to the ring in December 2017 against African champion Ernest Amuzu and has been looking for a bout since then. In between, he severed ties with UK-based promoter Queensberry Promotions for ‘dishonouring’ the agreement. Later, his Indian promoters, IOS Boxing, had planned a fight against Briton Lee Markham for the Commonwealth super middleweight title in July 2017, but that also didn’t work out as his opponent pulled out of the contest citing injury.

“It was a frustrating wait for me. No fight nights weren’t an ideal situation for me. But then, you need to keep patience hoping for the best to happen. That’s what I did and continued with my training. Now, I have reached where I wanted to be,” he said.

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