MISSION ACCOMPLISHED FOR SINGH AND BOXNATION IN DELHI

posted on: 22/07/2016

By Frank Warren

Our maiden promotional voyage to India proved a resounding success last weekend at a packed-out Thyagaraj Stadium.

My son Francis was orchestrating events in New Delhi and has worked hard to bring professional boxing to the homeland of Vijender Singh for the first time.

Vijender Singh

The show ran like clockwork and was fantastically well received. The tremendous reaction on social media from the stars of cricket and Bollywood personalities who were in attendance at ringside prove that history was well worth making.

So congratulations are in order to Francis and his team and I am sure there will be many return visits to come as the career of Vijender continues on an upward trajectory.

Vijender outworked the experienced Kerry Hope over ten rounds to claim his first professional title – the WBO Asia-Pacific championship – and going the distance for the first time will have provided a valuable learning curve for him.

He was awarded victory by a wide points margin and the fact it went to the cards answered questions over his stamina, with him previously not having been taken beyond five rounds.

It was also a special night for our super lightweight Sanjeev Singh Sahota, who got in on the Indian act with a points win over Vikas Kumar in what was his third professional fight.

It offers Sanjeev a second market to target on his pro journey and there could well be opportunities for other British-Indian boxers as we establish more of a foothold in the territory.

For Vijender, already a massive draw in his home country after his amateur exploits, it is now onwards and upwards and Francis is currently plotting his next moves.

A challenge for the Commonwealth title at super middleweight is definitely an option while, further down the line, there is the intriguing prospect of a fight with Amir Khan that would be an absolute blockbuster in Delhi.

Amir appears to be up for it – so watch this space.

The ultimate goal, however, is to work Vijender into a position to challenge for world honours on home soil and I don’t think he is too far away.

He is on the fast track, given his age and extensive amateur experience, so in another four or five fights we could be delivering world championship boxing to a sports-mad nation who would most certainly embrace the occasion.

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After Vijender’s Delhi delight and our great show in Cardiff, BoxNation viewers are in for another treat this weekend with the thrilling prospect of Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford and hot-shot Ukrainian Victor Postol squaring off to determine who is king of the 140lbs division.

Crawford v Postol

It is a WBO/WBC unification between two fighters who both hold a 28-0 undefeated record and the MGM Grand Garden Arena is Las Vegas is a fitting venue for such a potentially sizzling showdown.

It has got all the makings of a close run thing, but you will not be surprised to discover who my money is on as my admiration for Crawford is no secret.

This Bud’s for me. I believe Crawford, a quality operator, is the best American fighter currently on the scene. He is a smart boxer who carries power but, what also stands out, is his intelligence in the ring and the fact he is so well schooled.

Coverage begins from Vegas at 2am on Sunday morning.

And talking of treats, we are thrilled to add yet another BoxNation bonus to the schedule following the capture of Carl Frampton’s challenge for the world title held by Leo Santa Cruz.

After cleaning up half of the super bantamweight division with his defeat of Scott Quigg in February, Frampton is stepping up a category for his shot at the WBA ‘Super’ featherweight crown in New York.

It is a cracking addition to our line-up and one I will take a closer look at next week when we will also be able to advise on the running order from the Barclays Center.

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Another Queensberry star who I believe is closing in on a shot for a world title is the popular puncher from Penge, Bradley Skeete.

Bradley returned to the ring in Cardiff on Saturday for the first time since clinically extracting the British and Commonwealth belts from Birmingham’s Sam Eggington in March.

Bradley Skeete

He was back on WBO European title duty against the Frenchman Alexandre Lepelley who, while he looked a little limited, is a tough sod and had not been stopped before. He has now, with Bradley overwhelming him in the seventh round.

The more you see of Bradley, the more he impresses, he is boxing with a real authority and confidence, while patiently breaking opponents down.

Don’t be surprised to see Bradley stepping up for a world title challenge before the year is out.

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Tommy Langford, who also impressed in his defence of his WBO Intercontinental title in Cardiff, has been quietly going about his business, learning his trade and has built up an unbeaten record over 17 fights, during which time he has only had a couple of rounds scored against him.

Eubank v Langford

The Commonwealth title is also in his possession and he will now get the chance to add another to his collection. Quite rightly, Tommy has been made mandatory challenger for the British middleweight title.

The holder? One Chris Eubank jnr.

As I think I might have mentioned once or twice, negotiating with the Eubanks is pretty much a non-starter for me, but this is a mandatory challenge called for by the Board of Control and mercifully doesn’t require any parental control.

Senior services will not be called for and the fight will go to the highest bidder. It is quite simple, if Eubank jnr doesn’t want the fight then he must vacate the belt. Take it or leave it and no argument.

I hope he wants it and I fancy my man to win, big time.

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Tomorrow: Hubbard’s Cupboard on the cool hombre who promises to make Beefy stew in Texas.

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