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14.09.2018 12:53
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With less than two weeks to go before Vijender Singh defends his WBO Asia Pacific belt against Francis Cheka, pre-bout trash talk is already underway. Its mostly been one-way traffic, however, with the Tanzanian promising to hit him (Vijender) in the face, bring him down and end Vijenders career.Vijender meanwhile, as he has for the course of his seven-fight long professional career, said he would let his hands do the talking.Even if it is often delivered with a wink and a nod, the bluster before the bout is a time honoured tradition of the professional circuit. Its part of an act that culminates with the post-weigh in stare down. Its meant to convince punters that if they put out cash for a ticket, they will get to see a fight between two men who dont really like each other. Yet while Cheka is doing his bit, Vijender, ahead of his first title defense, is seemingly not playing along.I just cant do the trash talk. It doesnt come naturally to me, says the 31-year-old over the phone from Manchester, where he is training. While there is no doubting the fact that he has delivered in the ring - as a perfect 7-0 record will suggest- Vijender admits hes been asked to perhaps try some verbal sparring too. My management sometimes ask me why dont I try (to trash talk). But you cant force me into doing something like that. Ive told them I want to be a good boy, he says with a laugh. Vijender wants to keep his mind on his bout.As his professional career progresses, that seems increasingly important. Vijenders first few opponents were part-time scaffolders and firemen. His more recent ones have been a definite step up in class. Vijenders last opponent Kerry Hope was a former EBU middleweight champion. Cheka, holds a minor (WBF) world title but has also fought Fedor Chudinov who formerly held the major (WBA) super middleweight title. But Vijender puts a positive spin to this. Each bout is getting steadily harder. But at the same time it becomes easier as well. For my first few bouts, I had no idea what kind of boxer my opponent was because they hadnt fought much. But now I can just type their name on Youtube and see their fights, he says.Adapting is key Its gotten a lot easier for Vijender to prepare as well. The first year will be simply about adapting, senior boxing commentator Steve Lillis had said of the Indian who made his professional debut in October last year. Professional boxing is different from anything he has done before and he will be away from anything familiar, Lillis had said.A year-and-a-half into his professional career, there are few unknowns for him in training as well. He has got used to the cold and dampness of Manchester and the solitude of training and his apartment away from family and friends.Adapting to his new surroundings was easier. Relearning his game was a lot harder. Especially after, he realized that the boxing shorthand in Lee Beards gym, was different than the one he had learned in India. Its like learning a new language. I knew boxing, but initially everything felt new to me. I didnt understand everything that Lee would tell me, recalls Vijender. When Beard would call to lead with three snap left punches - jab, jab, jab - Vijender says he didnt know what that meant.I didnt get the difference between a block and shield (you shield with your shoulder, block with your gloves). In India I thought a shield was the shell guard. But now I get the boxing code. When Lee says stiff arm, I know what he is referring to. (he meant the defensive technique which taller boxers stick their hand out in an opponents face to keep distance).So Im learning a lot faster now, he says.Staying motivated This doesnt mean that its all been smooth sailing. Sometimes you get bored because you have been boxing for the last 20 years. You have good days where you are excited about going to the gym and training and there are days when you wonder what it is you are doing. But then you tell yourself come on, you have to do it. You have to be a warrior. And ultimately I do it because I love boxing. I cant see myself doing anything else, he says. What Vijender has also understood and come to terms with is his style as a boxer. His technical approach isnt the most crowd friendly approach but its definitely effective. Its also incredibly frustrating for his rivals.Vijender recalls how one of his sparring partners - Jimmy Kelly - nearly quit in frustration. I always had my left arm next to my body protecting me. So he couldnt catch me with a punch. Jimmy said it was ridiculous trying to box me. But that is my game. Its very technical, recalls Vijender. V (Vijender) doesnt throw a lot of punches but he is very accurate. He only needs his right hand to land once and thats enough to end the fight, says trainer Lee Beard. Indeed Vijender says professional boxing is all a matter of energy.Its all about how you control your energy. You cant box aggressively for ten rounds. If you go all out from the start, you will tire yourself out after six rounds and be in a lot of trouble in the last few four, he says. And while his sparring sessions have helped, Vijender says the best learning has come in the ring. I got a lot of experience fighting Kerry Hope. I was fighting at home so there was a lot of pressure but I got myself to focus a lot more. I told myself Stay calm and dont be in a hurry, That resolve will likely be tested once again at the Thyagaraj Stadium on December 17th .While the crowd will expect Vijender to deliver a knockout - his seventh in eight fights -- he himself is a lot more cautious. If a knockout comes thats great but my job is to get another win, he says. Sparring three times a week, Vijender is doing his best to assure himself of the win. But uncertainty is ever present in the sport. Only this past week, he was sparring someone he only calls a really strong kid. I was doing quite well when suddenly he caught me with a right hand. Boom Usse to hil gaya (it shook me). I was able to recover and finish the session but it woke me up, he says.Bahut maar khai hai maine sparring me, (Ive taken a lot of beating in sparring). Ive been cut a few times. But jitna ring ke bahar lagegi utni ring ke andar kam khun bahegi. (the more you prepare outside the ring the less you bleed inside it, he says. These arent really the fighting words that would get the blood pumping and you can almost imagine Vijenders managers shaking their heads. But he himself is not too bothered.Talking doesnt matter. Its not something I like doing. What I like is boxing. My job is to fight and Im going to be good at it, he says. Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys . The Olympic champion curler and TSN curling analyst immediately went online to look at the Halls long list of honoured members. 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