Vijender beats Hope for WBO middleweight title

July 18, 2016

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Indian boxer Vijender Singh clinched the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title with a dominant win over former WBC European champion Kerry Hope in new Delhi.

Vijender, 30, took all 10 rounds to dismantle the 34-year-old Welsh-born Australian to record his seventh straight win in the pro circuit, a year after turning professional.

It was the longest bout of Vijender’s pro career and also his first points win after six knockouts. Vijender was named unanimous winner after being score 98-92, 98-92, 100-90 by the three judges.

Vijender, who as an amateur became India’s first Olympic and World Championships medallist, was hardly pushed despite playing all 10 rounds, and was cheered deliriously by a packed partisan crowd.

“It’s not about myself, it’s about my nation, my country,” Vijender said after the win.

Vijender seemed to be looking for a knockout blow from the very beginning even though Kerry was the more attacking of the two. But Kerry’s inability to connect cleanly proved to be his undoing against Vijender, who waited patiently to throw his accurate blows.

Hope’s shorter arms further hampered his ability to find a way past Vijender’s defence early on.

“This comes after a lot of hard work put in by me, my trainer and my team. I thank my coach, my promoter and my team who have done a fantastic job. I also thank all the fans, the celebrities and sportspersons who have come to watch my bout today. The countdown has just begun,” Vijender said.