In 7th heaven: Vijender Singh beats Kerry Hope to clinch 1st pro-title - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

In 7th heaven: Vijender Singh beats Kerry Hope to clinch 1st pro-title

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Jul 17, 2016 02:50 AM IST

Indian professional boxer beat Kerry Hope of Australia to win the WBO Asia-Pacific Middleweight title in New Delhi on Saturday evening.

Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh beat Kerry Hope of Australia to win the WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight title in New Delhi on Saturday evening.

Indian professional boxer Vijender Sngh beat Australia’s Kerry Hope to win the WBO Asia-Pacific Middleweight championship on July 16, 2016.(HT Photo)
Indian professional boxer Vijender Sngh beat Australia’s Kerry Hope to win the WBO Asia-Pacific Middleweight championship on July 16, 2016.(HT Photo)

Faced with the most experienced and highly rated opponent of his fledgling professional boxing career, Vijender carved out a 98-92, 98-92, 100-90 verdict from the three judges to clinch his first pro-boxing title.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

This is Vijender’s seventh consecutive victory and he remains unbeaten in the professional arena. Exactly a year after he turned pro, the Indian boxer has broken into the top-15 in the WBO rankings with this win.

In his first 10-round fight, Vijender, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, came across a formidable Kerry who refused to budge and kept landing punches till the last bell.

The second round clearly belonged to Vijender, who made good use of his long reach to evade Hope’s punches while going for power-packed body shots.

Australian southpaw Hope did better in the third round, and managed to penetrate Vijender’s defence a couple of times with his fast right jabs. The Australian gradually started gaining the upper hand as the bout wore on, outfoxing Vijender with his superior footwork and movement.

He dominated the fourth and fifth rounds and although Vijender managed to land a few solid blows of his own, the local favourite was clearly having the worse of it.

The Indian managed to put Hope in trouble towards the end of the sixth round with a couple of bodyshots and a jab to the face.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist seemed to tire a bit as the fight wore on. Hope continued to move around with speed and vigour, exhibiting impressive technique and footwork while Vijender was comparatively less mobile in the later rounds, relying more on his power to counter his opponent.

But despite taking some hits to his body, he managed to hold his own till the end.

“Thank you India! I didn’t expect it to go to 10 rounds,” Vijender said after the bout. “It is all to my country, not about me! We have been working hard for this. Finally we did it and we will work to improve my ranking now.”

Vijender had put in intense preparation for the bout and all that training seemed to pay off on Saturday. He used a smart combination of punches and right hooks to keep the Aussie at bay.

The event was attended by the who’s who of sports, entertainment and politics, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, boxer MC Mary Kom, who choked a bit while acknowledging a loud applause from the crowd, star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, cricketers Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, and actor Randeep Hooda.

(With inputs from agencies)

Catch all the Latest IPL 2024 news and Live Cricket Score along with WPL Schedule and WPL Points Table related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Abhimanyu Kulkarni is part of the online desk. He calls himself a sports junkie and covers sports events from time to time. He manages the homepage, handles daily news and plans and organises long-term projects. His idea of fun is handling big, breaking news.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, April 15, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On