India were dealt a major blow when Vijender Singh announced his decision to quit amateur boxing and said that he would go pro, which implies that the 2008 Beijing Olympic medallist will not represent India anymore.
Vijender Singh signed a four year deal with a British promoter and the Indian will undergo some serious training in the UK as he is expected to take part his first professional fight in September.
Strong rumours had already been doing rounds about the same, as he was reportedly said to have excused himself from the national training camp in Patiala. Vijender Singh stated that it was a dream come true for him to turn pro.
"It feels great. A new experience. It's going to be awesome because turning pro has been my dream. After Olympics, my dream was to compete at the world level and I am happy it's going to happen soon," Vijender Singh told The Times of India.
There is a lot of money in the sport, if one goes pro and becomes successful as was witnessed when the fight of the century between Floyd Mayweather and Many Pacquiao broke all box office records in boxing history.
After watching the mega fight between the two best boxers of the generation, he began even more keen to turn pro.
"I always wanted to do this and after that fight (Mayweather vs Pacquiao)I started talking about turning pro more. I had said that one day I would go to Madison Square Garden. It's taken five years and in that period I competed in almost all amateur tournaments. Now, I want to take Indian boxing to the world map as a pro. I will fight for my Indian people and show them that Vijender is a really strong fighter."
It will be a big task for the Indian to even come close to what these boxers have achieved in the sport -- money and fame, along with respect from the boxing fraternity.
Vijender is not the first Indian boxer to have gone pro as some other boxers such as Gurcharan Singh, Dharmendra Yadav amongst other have gone pro in the past. However, they were not too successful in their efforts.
While Vijender too will have to wait and watch where things go, he is determined to do well and give his 100%.
"It's not an easy task and requires a lot of hard work. I respect Gurcharan-paaji who turned pro in US after 2000 Olympics. You may succeed or you may not. I wouldn't commit that I will be a superstar or a world champion. I will just try and give my 100 per cent," added Vijender.