Indian boxer Vijender Singh makes a smashing professional debut

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Manchester, Oct 10: Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh made a smashing professional debut by knocking out Britain's Sonny Whiting in the middleweight category here today, ruthlessly demolishing the man, who promised to put him through hell at the Manchester Arena.

Vijender won the contest with a few seconds left in the third of the four-round bout via Technical Knockout, pushing Whiting literally on to the ropes and smacking him with a combination of jabs and uppercuts before the referee stepped in to stop the contest.

Vijender Singh poses for pictures before his bout

Strolling in confidently to the beats of Punjabi song, the 29-year-old hardly looked a debutant as he got down to business against Whiting. In fact, it was Whiting, who looked timid and unsure of what to do against the clinical Indian.

Nimble-footed and precise, Vijender used his long reach to full advantage against his 26-year-old rival, who is himself merely four-bouts old in the pro circuit.

"Thanks to all my fans. My next fight will be Oct 30 in Harrow, enjoy it. It's new for me but I've been working hard. It's going well, I want to win! That's just the beginning," said the Haryana-lad after a resounding start to his pro career.

Vijender treaded cautiously to start with, taking a measure of Whiting in the opening three minutes. However, that did not stop him from landing a few clean jabs to clinch the initiative.

The Indian grew in confidence in the second round against the erratic Whiting, whose attacking strategy went haywire with every passing second.

Vijender, on the other hand, was a picture of composure despite the home fans loudly cheering for the local favourite. Moving quite literally like a butterfly, India's first Olympic and World Championships medallist stung quite hard, smashing through his opponent's defences with the razor-sharp accuracy.

"I am very happy for this win. It's just a beginning as I have to go a long way. I will work more hard and have to be Professional champion one day," Vijender later said.

"I never got nervous during the bout. My punches have replied to Sonny Whiting in the ring. Its new for me but I have been working hard. Its going well. I want to win, win and win," declared India's greatest ever boxer.

Watch the full bout here

The effort put in to improve his jabbing by his renowned trainer Lee Beard was there to be seen as Vijender had Whiting scurrying for cover. His foot movement remarkably rhythmic, Vijender pummelled Whiting in the second round with his combination of hooks and jabs.

In contrast, Whiting could never really get going and match the claims of giving his greenhorn rival a very rude welcome. The Brit struggled to match Vijender's ability to shift gears within seconds and had himself tied up in knots while trying to counter-attack.

It all fell apart for him in the third round when Vijender cornered him on the ropes and let loose a flurry of punches which stopped only after the referee stepped to rescue Whiting.

In the end, the soft-spoken Indian had a faint smile on his face and had his arm lifted in celebration as he lived up to the pre-bout promise of speaking only through punches.

PTI

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