Vijender Singh (75kg) gave a dominating performance despite being down with viral fever to thrash Sweden’s Hampus Henriksson in his opening bout and entered the second round of the World Championships. Vijender out-punched his rival 3-0 to make the last 32 to round off a third successive winning day for India.
The individual scoreline read 30-27 30-26 30-26 in favour of Vijender,who is aiming to make a strong comeback after being embroiled in a drug scandal,which denied him several weeks of training earlier this year. I am down with fever,cold and cough ever since I landed here but somehow managed to pull myself. I am glad that I won but it’s just the start, Vijender said after his bout. I have been on medication for the last two days. Before the bout my coaches told me that I should not feel weak mentally no matter how I was feeling physically. So,I just went in with a positive mindset and pulled off the win, he said.
National coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu praised the performance. Vijender gave an exceptional performance against a very tough boxer. The other guy was very aggressive but Vijender caught him with some good uppercuts,that broke him. Later,Viju connected some deft left hooks, Sandhu said. Vijender has a tough bout next up as he will be facing European champion and world number seven Jason Quigley of Ireland on Saturday.
Let’s hope that I recover by then and see how it goes, said Vijender. He (Henriksson) was aggressive but I gathered everything inside me in the first two rounds and the strategy worked as I broke him down with uppercuts, he said.