On Vijender’s US wishlist: Debut at Madison Square Garden, showdown with Canelo

-- 06 December,2018

New Delhi: A debut at the Madison Square Garden and a showdown with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez are top of Vijender Singh’s wishlist as he ventures into the US professional boxing circuit with Manny Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach to assist his training.

The 33-year-old, an icon in Indian boxing with his path-breaking bronze medals at the Olympics and the World Championships, is unbeaten since turning pro in 2015 but did not compete at all this year.

After a stint of 10 fights in the UK and India, Vijender is set to foray into the US territory after signing up with the legendary Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. His debut across the Atlantic is being planned for February-March next year.

“The relationship (with Arum) goes back to two years and finally it’s a formal contract now,” Vijender told PTI in an interview here.

“I have told him (Bob Arum) about my dream to debut at the Madison Square Garden. After winning an Olympic medal, I had spoken about a desire to fight at the MSG arena and when I told Bob about this, he said ‘the boy has a Madison Square Garden dream. OK we’ll see what can be done’,” he recalled.

Vijender, who has won the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental super middleweight titles so far, will be training with Roach, a long-time coach of Filipino superstar Pacquiao — a world champion in eight different weight divisions.

Roach had a decent run in the pro circuit, winning 40 of his 53 bouts, before Parkinson’s disease cut short his fighting career at 26.

“Bob introduced us to Freddie Roach and (Robert) Garcia. We discussed a lot of things and let’s see how it goes. Lee Beard (his trainer during stint with UK’s Queensberry Promotions) is still in the team but it’s not yet decided if I am training in the UK or the USA or both. We will sort it out very soon,” Vijender elaborated.

Another one of Vijender’s wishes is a showdown with Canelo, a multiple-time world champion. Canelo would be taking on Britain’s Rocky Fielding for the WBA super middleweight champion at the Madison Square Garden on December 15.

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