Vijender Singh got what he wanted -- a dream of a start to his career in pro boxing. The pugilist from Bhiwani won via a technical knockout against Sonny Whiting on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena to go 1-0 up in his pro career.
And things are just about to start for him. The 2008 Beijing Olympics Bronze medallist goes on to his second fight in the pro boxing ring on 30 October in Harrow, and his opponent is slated to be announced sometime this week.
But before that, Vijender, who says that he has undergone a lot of transformations after the win, explained those terrific moments prior to entering the ring on the night.
"Expectation, pressure and responsibility are normal feelings before any important match. And those feelings did come to my mind. But I was focused and made a small prayer to the Almighty before stepping into the ring," Vijender told to The Times of India.
"I believe when you want something badly, you tend to get it."
Explaining further, the 29-year-old Indian said that the moment reminded him of London Olympics where he was beaten by Uzbekistan's Abbos Atoev in the quarterfinals.
"The heartbeat was up. I was on the backstage when Sonny entered and I could hear the crowd cheering for him," Vijender said.
"I reminded myself of a similar situation in the London quarterfinal and told myself it was OK. There were a lot of Indian supporters too who were scattered in the arena initially but as the match began they came together and supported me.
"I am sure I have earned a lot of British supporters too after this bout," he added proudly.
Watch the full fight below:
Vijender mentioned that he had his eyes on a win on the night and nothing beyond that. The month-long hard work he put in the sparring sessions under seasoned coach Lee Beard finally bore fruit as he used his left cross and a technical right jab to force the referee to stop the fight in the third round, with 47 seconds remaining on the clock.
"The whole atmosphere was so new for me - starting from the environment of the changing room to the coach and fellow boxers. Everything felt so different, be it the style of warming up or size of the gloves or bandage. Everything has changed for me. I am happy things went well in the ring and I could win," Vijender said.
"My focus was to win from the moment I stepped in the ring. I just wanted to attack and beat him up. Was waiting for this day for so long," he added.