Vijender terminates agreement with Queensberry Promotions

The Indian boxing star has terminated his contract with the UK-based promoters, complaining that the company failed to deliver on its obligations in the last one year.

Vijender Singh and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions entered into an agreement in 2015, the year the Indian decided to bid adieu to his amateur career and enter the professional circuit.   -  AFP

India’s boxing star Vijender Singh has decided to terminate his contract with UK-based Queensberry Promotions for failing to meet their contractual obligations.

Vijender, who signed a deal with the UK-based promoters in 2015, said he also couldn’t agree to a few of their terms and conditions. “We worked with them for almost a year and we had six fights. Then I got the title. After that, what they approached me for, I was not happy with that. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t agree to their terms and conditions,” he told Sportstar.

“Even for the two fights in India, we used our own sources. We were waiting for them to do something. After the first year, that didn’t happen. It was there in the contract that I could walk away if I was not happy with the terms. So, I have decided to end it,” the reigning WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight champion said.

Neerav Tomar, chief of IOS Boxing Promotions, said, “The promotional rights are back with IOS Boxing. Vijender and I are discussing about future plans. We want him to fight more regularly and they were unable to give us shows. And, money-wise also, it didn’t work out.”

Vijender had his last professional fight in December 2016 (against Francis Cheka) and his April fight against Zulpikar Maimaitiali was cancelled after the Chinese boxer backed out without giving a reason.

The wait for the Indian’s next fight may end soon as IOS Boxing has planned a “mega fight” in Mumbai in July. If all goes well, Vijender, who has a clean 8-0 record since he turned pro, will fight for a double title. His opponent is likely to be a Chinese or a Russian.

“Right now, we are looking at getting Vijender back in the ring. We are looking at a double title. Hopefully, we are able to align the fight in Mumbai in July. We have heard back from China as well. Vijender’s opponent could either be from China or Russia,” Tomar said.  The names are likely to be finalised and revealed in a week.

The Indian promoter said that the fight in Mumbai will be a bigger show than the bouts held in Delhi, and multiple Commonwealth and Asian Champions will be part of the fight cards. Tomar answered in the affirmative when queried whether Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, too, will be making their pro-boxing debuts in July.

“We will be having a star-studded fight card with Olympic medal, Commonwealth and Asian Games winners,” Tomar said.

IOS Boxing also said it was looking for promoters across the world to help Vijender feature in more fights in a year. “World bodies are keen on having more fights involving Vijender, in India, both WBA and WBO. We are also looking at global promoters to partner with. We will be working on case to case basis now with global partners,” Tomar said.

Both IOS Boxing and Vijender Singh ruled out shifting training base from UK, at least for the moment.

Though he has severed ties with Queensberry, Vijender, who is currently in India, expressed his interest in continuing to train with Manchester-based Lee Beard. He is expected to leave for UK shortly after announcing his next opponent.

With a new world-class boxing facility, set by IOS Boxing in Vijender’s home base, Gurugram, becoming functional soon, the 31-year-old may, however, be shuttling more and more between India and UK.

“We are discussing with Vijender. He likes training with Lee Beard, so he will be there. But he will keep coming back to India to train in Gurugram. We are looking at the top, biggest promoters from America as well and there is scope there. So we will have to wait and see,” Tomar said.

For the moment, the focus is on training and giving Vijender at least four fights before the end of this year. “We wanted to start from February/March. But, unfortunately, because of delays from Queensberry, any kind of confirmation or renegotiation didn’t happen. We are looking at another four to five fights this year,” Tomar said.