Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Vijender Singh has eye on Alvarez with move to US

AFP, NEW DELHI

Vijender Singh, center, holds the Asia Pacific and Oriental WBO belts after defeating China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali at the National Sports Complex of India Dome in Mumbai on Aug. 5 last year.

Photo: AFP

Indian boxer Vijender Singh said he was hoping for a world title fight against Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in New York after signing a new deal with US promoter Bob Arum.

The 33-year-old Singh, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has an unbeaten 10-0 record since he turned professional in 2015, but failed to get a single fight this year.

He has now turned to Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, where he will get a chance to train with leading coaches including Robert Garcia and Freddie Roach, the long-time handler of Manny Pacquiao.

“It’s great to be associated with Top Rank. I want to take my unbeaten performance in UK and India to America as well,” Singh told reporters yesterday. “They will grant us three to five fights in a year depending upon my training and fitness. US is the place to be when it comes to pro boxing.”

Singh said it was his ambition to square off with middleweight world champion Alvarez, who faces Britain’s WBA super middleweight champ Rocky Fielding at the Garden next Saturday.

“If I can get Canelo at Madison Square Garden, what better than that. He is fighting in the super middleweight category with Rocky Fielding. He is a good fighter and if I do get a chance to face him for the world title then why not,” Singh said.

For Singh, fighting in the US is a “dream come true” and he said that training with big names like Garcia and Roach would lift his career.

“Bob Arum introduced us to Garcia and Roach. We are still trying to figure out who will ultimately train me, but certainly they are all big names and it will be an honor to be coached by them,” Singh said.

“I am training hard, despite not getting a fight this year, but will take it to the next level when I travel to the US later this month,” said the Indian, whose previous fight was against African champion Ernest Amuzu in December last year.

Singh’s scheduled fight in July against Briton Lee Markham for the Commonwealth super middleweight title was called off after his opponent pulled out due to injury.

Singh became a national hero 10 years ago when he became the first Indian to win a boxing medal at the Olympics.

Later, a short acting stint in Bollywood further raised his profile in India.

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