Suhrid Barua, Pune Mirror, October 3, 2008
Pune: The chants of ‘Vijender Zindabad’ reverberated the MIT ground here on Thursday, as the Indian sports’ latest poster boy made his entry to grace the opening function of MIT Summit ‘08 State-level Inter-Engineering Sports Meet here. Soon the ‘Bollywood’ looks of the 23-year-old Bhiwani boxer grabbed fulsome attention of all and sundry.
And with the much-hyped Commonwealth Youth Games just nine days away, the confabulation obviously veered to Indian boxers’ medal hopes at the event.Vijender sprang a surprising revelation about his cousin brother Balwinder (69-kg) taking part in the CYG. “He’s training hard and readying himself to give a good account of himself at CYG. I don’t want to put him under any undue pressure as far as pulling off a podium finish is concerned,” explains the demure pugilist who’s beginning to show a maturity beyond his age.
All Vijender wants is to see Balwinder to give his best effort and not worry much about the result at CYG. “When an Indian boxer takes the ring, billion Indians want that guy to win. I’m not different as a lot of pride and prestige is at stake. As long as he is boxing to his natural strengths, I will be a happy brother,” he chuckles.
‘Not just Balwinder’
So will he be counting on only his cousin brother to corner glory at CYG? “No. I’m not saying that. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be rooting for the other seven boxers.
Interestingly, the howling success of the boxers at Beijing even prompted the world boxing body president to ask the Indian boxing contingent in ‘jest’ whether it was indeed the ‘Indian’ boxers who boxed at Beijing.coming off ageEven Vijender reckons the Indian boxing has come off age. “I know the momentum is with us, especially after the way all the Indians boxers performed at Beijing. “Not just me, even Akhil and Jitender gave a magnificent showing at Beijing. Let me tell you, this is just the beginning, and we have many more miles to traverse in our pursuance of glory,” Vijender added, wearing pride in his sleeves.