Indian boxing heroVijender Singh said on Monday (6) he was keen to have another chance of Olympic glory after professional fighters were cleared to compete at the upcoming Games in Rio.
Singh, who won a bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, is gearing up for the WBO Asian Middleweight title bout against Australia’s Kerry Hope (both right) in New Delhi on July 16 after turning pro last year.
But Singh, who has featured in the last three Olympics, told reporters that last week’s ruling from boxing’s governing body had rekindled his hopes of representing his country once more in August.
“I will try and make it to the Games in Rio. I had given up on it but my Olympic dreams have resurfaced,” Singh told a press conference in the Indian capital.
“Now that the wall between professional and amateur boxing has broken and I am getting a chance to represent my country, why will I not dream of getting there?”
Singh’s comments come after the International Boxing Association removed restrictions on professionals competing at ‘amateur’ events such as the Olympics at an extraordinary congress last week.
became a national hero eight years ago when he became the first Indian to win a boxing medal at the Olympics. He has made a perfect start to his pro career, winning all six of his fights.
If he wants to automatically qualify for Rio, he will have to compete in a series of qualifiers in Venezuela in July, only a remote possibility given his bout against Hope. But he could also in theory be chosen as a wildcard entry.
promoter Francis Warren, who signed the su- per middleweight on a four-year
eal in June 2015, sounded less than enthusiastic about the idea of his fighter going to Brazil.
“I think Vijender is entitled to have his views on it,” he said.
“Youngsters who are at the Olympics deserve that chance to shine in their own right. So let amateurs be amateurs and professionals be professionals.”