Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 06:19 PM IST

`Unbeaten` Vijender to defend WBO title against ex-world champion Francis Cheka

Updated: Nov 14, 2016 17:19 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov.14 (ANI): Indian boxing sensation Vijender Singh will face the toughest test of his professional career when he takes on former world Champion Francis Cheka to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion title at the Thyagaraj Stadium here on December 17.

Vijender has made an explosive start to his pro career in the paid ranks by blowing away his first seven opponents in just 27 rounds. Cheka is Vijender's most experienced opponent to date and will prove a stern test for the big-hitting Indian boxer.Vijender currently has a record of seven out of seven wins with 6 knockouts.

Undefeated Vijender claimed his first WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title at the Thyagaraj Stadium in July this year against Australian Kerry Hope. The Indian knockout merchant is now looking to defend his title in front of home crowd by knocking out Cheka in the early rounds.

On fighting Cheka, Vijender commented,"Cheka is a highly experienced boxer, he has many bouts under his belt, but none of this demotivates me. I am training harder to match up to his level and hoping for another win. Once again my fight will be at my home ground, just like last time the support that I got from the crowd was overwhelming and I am sure there will be more people who will come out to support me. I am confident of my win; I feel my stance is becoming better with every training session that I am undergoing. My trainer also feels that my punches are stronger than before and he has also put me under high intensity training. It's a matter of my title this time, I am sure of protecting my title with as much pride as I won it. I am going to leave no stone unturned to make sure my title stays with me."

Since defeating Kerry Hope, just a few months back at the national capital, Vijender Singh has been away from India and training hard in Manchester for his title defense fight next month. The undefeated champion is looking for yet another win against Francis Cheka, which will put him in the top ten of the WBO rankings.

Lee Beard, trainer of Singh, said "We have been working on Vijender's strength and power in the gym and he is punching a lot harder. I can already see the benefits of the high intensity training sessions we have been putting him and everyone will see an even better Vijender on December 17th. Of all the fighters I have trained, he is one of the best when it comes to learning; he is an extremely quick learner. He will be prepared and ready to defend his title in style."

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Cheka is a veteran of 43 fights with 32 wins including 17 knockouts and has tested himself against top super-middleweight talent including WBA World Champion Fedor Chudinov from Russia and WBC International Champion Matthew Mecklin from UK.

The experienced boxer from Tanzania has racked up 300 grueling rounds under his belt in the 16 years of his career in contrast to Vijender Singh's 27 and has no fear fighting in India.

Cheka was formerly a World Champion, and currently he holds the Intercontinental Super Middleweight Championship title, which he won earlier this year in February against Geard Ajetovic who hails from Serbia.

Speaking about his next fight, Cheka said, "I am ready to give this kid a lesson of boxing.I will come to India.No turning back.No surrender. I have heard a lot about this Indian boxer and there's a lot of hype around him, I just can't wait to be the one to put him in his place. I know he trains in Manchester, UK, but it will be a great fun to beat Indian lad in his own country and take away his title. If you see my record, I have a total of 17 knockouts, I have played way more rounds than he has, I am sure I will be able to knock him out in the first round itself."

"I have seen his previous fights, he has fought absolutely nobody so far and I am sure he will get rid of facing me in the ring. The day he will meet me in the ring, he won't have a reply for anything I throw at him and once I start landing my punches at him it be will game over for India's golden boy. There's no doubt in my mind that I will knockout Vijender," added Cheka. (ANI)

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