In 2015, Olympic bronze medal-winning boxer Vijender Singh decided to leave amateur boxing and turned professional. The decision meant that the Bhiwani pugilist was out of contention from taking part at the Rio Olympics in 2016, which was a setback for the Indian contingent since Vijender was India’s best bet for getting a medal due to his vast experience.
But just before the multi-sports event started, AIBA and IOC decided to allow professional boxers to take part at the Olympics. Due to the late announcement, only three professional boxers took part in the Rio Games.
Three years later, Vijender, who has remained unbeaten at pro level for four years with a 12-0 record, is mulling a return to the Tokyo Olympics next year. “Of course, I am planning to participate at the Olympics,” the boxer said at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday.
But the road to making it to Tokyo is not easy since Vijender has to comply with BFI’s commitments and juggle a career between amateur and professional. Speaking on the difficulties, he said: “There is nothing easy in sport. There are a lot of commitments you have to make like you have to stay in the camp for two months… I can no longer do that. I did it all in my career,” he said.
The 36-year-old further said that he will turn up for a trial if asked to appear. “I believe in a direct conversation. Now just tell me when I have to turn up for the trial, whom do I have to face, and I will do that. If I get selected, great, if not then I will return. I want to raise India’s flag at the Olympics and I will try for that,” he said.
“For how long will I continue to speak to the federation. I have done it all during my career here, and it isn’t right if I continue to speak to them all the time,” he added.
On Russia ban
Meanwhile, Vijender has applauded WADA’s decision to ban Russia from participating in global events for four years, including Olympics, due to doping violation.
“It’s good that Russia has been banned from the Olympics, because whoever indulges in such practices should be punished. WADA has made it clear that it will not tolerate any violation on its guidelines whatsoever,” he said.
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