Taken aback by star boxer Vijender Singh’s decision to turn professional, national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said the Olympic bronze-medallist’s services would be sorely missed at the amateur level.
“It is really very surprising for me. I am in a state of shock because I never expected this would happen,” Sandhu said after Vijender announced his decision to turn pro in London.
“But obvisouly, he must have given some thought to the idea and decided accordingly. At the end of the day, it is his career,” he said.
Vijender, the first Indian boxer to win medals in the Olympics and the World Championships, has signed a multi year agreement with Queensberry Promotions through IOS Sports and Entertainment, that will see the middleweight fight a minimum of six times in the first year.
Sandhu said Vijender would be missed. “He is an excellent teammate, motivates others, and is friendly guy. His presence would certainly be missed. I don’t know how the boys will react to this news. It is truly very shocking,” Sandhu said.
The International Boxing Association rules on boxers joining professional leagues other than the ones promoted by AIBA clearly state that they become ineligible for amateur competitions.