Vijender challenges Amir, says he is ready for a bout

Khan, the British boxer of Pakistan origin, has expressed a desire to lock horns with Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender a number of times but the bout has not materialised yet.

Vijender Singh recently notched his 11th consecutive victory.   -  GETTY IMAGES

His professional fight with Amir Khan may still be uncertain but the verbal volleys between the two seem unceasing and on Thursday, it was Vijender Singh’s turn.

At a felicitation function here the Indian, who won his 11th professional boxing bout on his US debut said he was willing to fight any time but first Khan had to ‘grow up’.

“I have repeatedly said I am ready at any time, anywhere. But he is picking up kids as opponents. The latest was Neeraj Goyat, who is very talented but quite young compared to me, but that did not materialise because of Goyat’s injury. Let him first stop playing around with kids, then we can have a bout of grown-ups,” Vijender said.

Amir had earlier claimed that Vijender was scared of fighting him although any such face-off is unlikely any time soon given that they fight in different weight categories.

While Khan is a welterweight boxer, Vijender contests in super-middleweight. The Indian though said both could work on their weights and agree on a mid point.

READ: Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao agreed to fight in Saudi Arabia

“He has done it before,” Vijender said. Khan has only once competed in the middleweight division before, being knocked out by Mexican Canelo Alvarez in the 6th round in 2016.

About his own targets, Vijender said he was hopeful of getting a shot at the world title in 2020 if things work out in terms of competitions.

He knocked out Mike Snider in four rounds in his US circuit debut last Sunday for his 11th consecutive win and an impressive 11-0 professional career and holds the WBO Oriental and the Asia Pacific Super-middle-weight titles.

“It was a long break and both my team and I were getting desperate for a fight. It’s been more than a year since I last fought and we wanted to get a bout in US anyhow.

"We now plan to have two more fights, one in October-September and next around January-February. We are trying to work around the venue and opponent but the top boxers in US have a busy schedule,” he said.