New Delhi: A few days ahead of the all-important bout against Chinese opponent Zulpikar Maimaitiali, Indian boxer Vijender Singh was spotted practicing at a Mumbai gymnasium.
A DNA journalist arrived at the gym to analyse Vijender’s preparation for the match and catch him along with his coach for an interview.
Not a noisy reception when he walked in, but rather a silent one as he sits on the bench, puts his boxing shoes on, and pulls out the skipping rope from his kit bag.
The 31-year-old’s warm-up showed how confident he was feeling ahead of the bout that will have both his WBO Asia Pacific and the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight belts at stake.
Vijender does some free sparring and then is coach Lee beard advises him to try and make the most of the openings that may result out of his opponent’s jabs. The second suggestion that rolls in is to look for body shots, and Vijender just stood their listening to his coach very carefully.
After a 20-minute long training session, Beard had a brief talk with Vijender, and when asked what was he suggesting, the Briton said, “I just told him to keep his mind set, relax and calm. It’s all about being relaxed in the good frame of mind, his body is in great shape and just make sure he is not doing anything crazy.
“So, it’s all about his mental preparations now, physically he is doing perfect,” he was quoted saying by DNA.
Talking about his preparations, Vijender said, “The preparations are going really well. My team, my coaches are here with me, and so far everything has been all right.
“I landed in Mumbai today (Wednesday). My sparring fighter will land here today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday).”
But his family won’t be around to cheer for him. “My wife is not into boxing, she is very much into pooja-paath,” he added. “And my boy is celebrating his birthday tomorrow (Thursday).”
Vijender, earlier, spoke about his perception of the Chinese oponent, saying, “I am experienced….I don’t consider him as an experienced boxer, he is young, but he is a strong kid and we are ready for it. I have a game plan which I discussed with my coach, he (the coach) said stay calm, don’t be in hurry.”
“He (Zulpikar) is young so he (can) make mistake, he is in rush. In the first round, he would like to take over everything but that’s the time you should be calm,” Vijender had added.
The duo will lock horns on August 5 in Worli, putting their respective titles at stake.