Vijender Singh
Vijender Singh will make his pro debut in October.Reuters

Vijender Singh, who was one of India's major hopes for a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been criticised for going pro, as the boxer cannot participate in the quadrennial event.

However, Vijender believes turning his back on amateur boxing and going professional is a huge gamble, but something he needed to do.

"There is an old saying that 'zindagi ek jua hai' [life is a gamble]. I have taken that gamble by turning pro. If I succeed, that would be great, but even if I fail, I can proudly say that at least I had the guts to try out a new thing," DNA India quoted Vijender as saying.

As an amateur, Vijender achieved a lot in his career, including silver medals in the 2006 and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and Glasgow respectively. The Haryana boxer also won a bronze in the World Championships in Milan in 2009. However, Vijender's major achievement was a bronze medal finish in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Vijender stated that he took the gamble of going pro in order to inspire Indian youngsters to take up professional boxing.

"The most important part is 'why am I taking this gamble'? Is it for name and fame? No!

"I have earned a lot during my amateur career, and boxing lovers do know about it. I have taken this step to inspire the young generation of Indian boxers to take up the professional boxing because I know they are suffering back home," said Vijender.

While other Indian boxers such as Gurcharan Singh and Dharmendra Yadav have gone pro in the past, they were not able to garner major success. Vijender and his boxing fans in India are aware of the tough task, which lies ahead with some top world-class boxers from Europe and the US dominating the sport.

The Indian boxer has promised to wrap the national flag around his body and make the nation proud when he wins his pro bout. Vijender is expected to make his pro debut in October at Manchester Arena in an undercard fight when Terry Flanagan defends his WBO World Lightweight title against Diego Magdaleno.

"When I win, the national flag would be wrapped around my body. The Tri-colour would be going up," he said.

The Indian has been training in Manchester to improve and work upon his fitness to compete against some of the best in the business.

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