If Vijender Singh wins against the experienced Matiouze Royer in his fifth pro boxing bout on Saturday at the Copper Box Arena in London, the Indian pugilist can turn out to be a real force to reckon with in the middleweight division. His opponent, meanwhile, cannot be taken for granted by any means.
Vijender has won all his last four pro boxing fights in a convincing fashion, three of them were TKOs (Technical Knockouts), while his last bout against Alexander Horvath resulted in the Bhiwani-born boxer winning via a doctor's stoppage.
Against Royer however, it needs to be seen what Vijender is really capable of. For the record, the 29-year-old Royer is a veteran of 44 pro boxing fights already. The Frenchman looks chiseled and mean, with tattoos all over his body and during their pre-fight weigh-in, Royer collided heads with Vijender in an effort to intimidate the Indian.
Royer also stated that Vijender has fear in his eyes, and the Frenchman will capitalise on that. "I know I've got the beating of Vijender already; I saw it in his eyes. He looked scared to me," Royer told the Press Trust of India after the weigh in.
"There's no doubt in my mind I'll knock him out tomorrow night. There's a lot of hype around this guy and I can't wait to be the one to put him in his place."
Vijender, on his part, admitted that Royer will indeed be a difficult challenge, but to tackle the Frenchman, he will throw his best jabs and crosses on the night.
"From whatever I have seen of him, he does not look easy. He knows how to fight a tough one. I would say he is good but then I am no less," Vijender, 30, told PTI. "I will try to finish this fight as soon as possible again. But I think it could be a little longer than the previous ones, which is also good for me. I don't mind more time in the ring but if I can finish off something early, why not?" he added.
Both fighters weighed in at 11 stone 13 pounds in the official weigh-in. Catch the staredown below:
Where to watch live
The fight is expected to start at 6 p.m. BST (10:30 p.m. IST) and is an undercard fight in the event, headlined by a vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight title bout featuring Hughie Fury and Fred Kassi.
Indian audience can catch the mouthwatering action between Vijender and Horvath on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD. Online streaming of the pro boxing bout is available on starsports.com and Hotstar.
BoxNation (Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415) will make the pro boxing bouts available in the UK and Ireland. Online streaming is made available on Watch BoxNation. Also, the fights can be watched on the official android and iOS app of BoxNation.