Vijender Singh came face-to-face with his opponent Sonny Whiting here on Wednesday and both promised an explosive fight when the Indian boxing sensation makes his professional debut at the Manchester Arena on Saturday. Vijender has been training for his professional debut for more than a month with experienced trainer Lee Beard. He will take on Whiting over four rounds in the middleweight division, as he begins his quest to become India’s first ever professional boxing world champion. Whiting has fought three bouts in his professional career so far and has won two of them. Apart from the bout between Vijender and Whiting, two other fights featuring Terry Flanagan and Diego Magdaleno along with Liam Smith and John Thompson will also take place. 

At the final head-to-head press conference on Wednesday, both Vijender and Whiting gave their opinions ahead of the big fight. “I’m ready for Saturday and whatever Whiting brings to the ring. I’ve trained hard for my professional debut and nothing or no one is going to get in the way of what I have to do, especially Whiting. I’ve been preparing hard with my trainer Lee Beard in Manchester and we have done everything we can in preparation for this so now it is down to me to deliver the goods on the night in the ring,” Vijender said. 

“I’ve seen Whiting face-to-face now and we will see on the night what he can do in the ring. Physically he looks strong, but looks are deceiving, there are plenty of question on him as well: Can he take my power? Will he be able to cope with my speed and footwork? “With only a few days to go he is the only thing on my mind right now. Beating him, winning, and getting my first professional win on my record,” the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist added. 

Whiting, on the other hand, asserted that Vijender’s record in amateur boxing will not matter once he steps into the professional circuit and promised to knock out the former World no.1 by the second round. “There’s so much hype around this fight anyone would think that it’s the main event! I’m going to put this kid through absolute hell in the ring on the night. Since it was announced that I would be the opponent for Singh I’ve been cast off as someone who’s in there to get a pasting from him. Listen, I’m not taking a pasting for nobody, especially from someone who’s making his pro debut,” the Englishman said. “I’m a proud fighter who will go in there and give it everything I’ve got and I’m not laying down in front of anyone. He’s making his debut and I’ll give him a hard welcome to the professional game. What he’s done as an amateur doesn’t count, he’s now with the big boys in the pros,” 

Whiting added. “He might have been a superstar in the amateurs around the world, but now he’s going to feel the pain in the pros. Once I start roughing him up and landing the heavy punches, what’s he going to do? Look for the referee to help him out? If he goes past the second round I’ll be surprised.”

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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