Vijender hopes to get a shot at World title next year

Vijender Singh became the first Indian to sign a multi-year deal with Bob Arum’s company, Top Rank, and the expectations are sky high.

Vijender Singh signed a deal with legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum's complany, Top Rank.   -  Special Arrangement

Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum has been associated with the biggest names in the professional boxing circuit including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto.

Being one of the driving forces behind the sport, there is a popular belief that if one wants to make a mark in the professional arena, it is important to be associated with Arum.

And as Vijender Singh becomes the first Indian to sign a multi-year deal with Arum’s company, Top Rank, the expectations are sky high.  Indian boxing's poster boy is also hoping to make it count.

READ | Vijender signs up with Bob Arum, set for US debut next year

“I am looking for bigger things and Arum is the biggest promoter in the world. So, hopefully it will help us get bigger fights and hopefully, I can go for the World title next year, if things fall in place,” Vijender told Sportstar from Los Angeles, late on Tuesday.

Vijender, who turned pro in 2015 after signing a deal with prominent promoter Frank Warren's company Queensberry, has fought all but one of his bouts in India and England. “I will mostly make my debut under the Top Rank banner in February or March next year,” he said.

As a professional, Vijender has won the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental super middleweight titles. However, he hasn’t fought this year. His last outing was on December 23, 2017, at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur where he defeated Ghanaian Ernest Amuzu.

ALSO READ | Vijender Singh beats Ernest Amuzu for 10th successive win

Even though he reunited with Warren earlier this year, things did not go well and a bout, scheduled for July, was cancelled. Vijender, now, wants to start afresh as he hopes to become India’s first professional world champion.

“US is the Mecca of boxing. All the best in business are here. It is a new territory and there will be challenges, but I am confident of doing well,” the 2008 Olympics bronze-medallist said.

Vijender also believes that the association with Arum will encourage youngsters.

“There are lot of amateurs boxers coming up and after this, they will find inspiration. It will mark a new beginning for Indian boxing,” he said.

When he met Arum at his home in Los Angeles a couple of days ago, the seasoned promoter told him that he went ahead with the deal as he had heard a lot about Vijender's talent.

“Bob has great plans for India, and we spoke at length about the way ahead. Hopefully, it will help the game grow,” Vijender said.