Vijender Singh, ever since his pro boxing debut, has gone on to become a standout performer in the sport. The Indian has not lost a single bout in his career so far though he was involved in a tight encounter against his last opponent, China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali on Saturday, August 5.
It was one of his toughest challenges inside the ring, where he looked tired during the final stages of the bout. Vijender emerged victorious via a unanimous decision, which helped him retain his WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title and win the WBO Oriental super middleweight title. The Indian boxer has, however, decided to return Zuipikar's belt, hoping for a peace in India-China border, where things have been on the boil for some time.
With this win over Zulpikar, Vijender has maintained his unbeaten streak, stretching it to nine wins on a trot. Though Vijender might have come up against some tough opponents, the Haryana boxer has found his way to turn triumphant.
Such kind of a record for an Indian in pro boxing is unheard of, but there are some special characteristics, which makes him such a special boxer in the world.
Here is a look at some of his traits that has helped him become a dominant force in the pro circuit.
His amateur experience
The Indian boxer was a solid boxer during his amateur days, where he won medals in major events like Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championships for India. With such an experience under his belt, Vijender had a solid base to launch his professional career, and he has used that advantage to the fullest.
In his last nine fights, it is his footwork, which has stood out. It is this special trait of his, which helps him turn defence into attack, and lead to quick counter attacks. He is relatively quick for a big man. With quick footwork to his aid, Vijender moves away from the line of attack early, not allowing his opponent to strike easily.
Standing 6 ft tall, Vijender has a long reach and has used that quite well. It has come handy for him, especially in offence, where he can go for some powerful punches and catch his opponents offguard as well. With Vijender possessing a strong jab, this long reach is a massive weapon for the boxer.
Calm and keen to play waiting game
Vijender is never in a great hurry, and does not mind playing the waiting game. He is not one of those aggressive boxers, who goes all out. Vijender tries to create an opening, and when a chance is presented, he makes his opponents pay with his powerful right. Most importantly, Vijender knows when to pull the trigger. Even when is under pressure, and on the receiving end, he hardly buckles under pressure.
Lee Beard, his trainer
Lee might have played the most important role in helping him become a top pro boxer. Transistion from amateur to pro is never an easy thing, but under the guidance of Lee, who has helped Vijender not only rely on his power, but also the boxing brain to win bouts. Lee has also worked on making him physically stronger and helped him improve his technique to suit the demands of pro boxing too.