London: Vijender Singh registered the fifth consecutive win of his fledgling professional career with a technical knockout of Matiouze Royer of France in a super middleweight contest at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford here.
The fight on Saturday was however, the longest fight so far of Vijender’s career as a profusely bleeding Royer braved a fearsome assault from the Indian and managed to drag him till the fifth round before the referee stopped the contest.
Royer was the most experienced opponent Vijender had faced till date. The 29-year-old Frenchman has a total of 250 rounds under his belt from 44 bouts, which includes 14 wins.
The 30-year-old from Haryana, however, was hardly perturbed during the six-round contest and completely dominated his much experienced opponent. Such was Vijender’s dominance that Royer hardly managed to land a punch throughout the five rounds.
Both boxers were a bit cagey in the opening round, trying to assess each other. Royer was a bit defensive while Vijender was the more aggressive and landed several punches.
The Indian wrested the upper hand in the second round, pounding the Frenchman with a barrage of power-packed punches. He delivered a cut over Royer’s left eye with a right uppercut as blood flowed down the Frenchman’s face.
Despite visibly struggling, Royer fought bravely on. He continued to take a relentless pounding from Vijender in the third and fourth rounds. At one point, he was forced to go on one knee due to a strong blow from Vijender but got up quickly.
In the fifth round, Vijender managed to find a gap in Royer’s defence and landed several punches on his face and upper body that forced him onto the ropes.
The increased bleeding from the cut above Royer’s eye forced the referee to call in the doctor. The fight was then called off after a brief inspection.
“Royer is a good fighter and has boxed with some good ones in all these years. I discussed with the coaches and planned this fight so it is going right for me. Pro is totally different from amateur boxing. I am a little bit more experienced in pro boxing now so that is good,” Vijender said after the win.
“I am happy for my fifth knockout win in a row. Facing an experienced boxer was not that easy for me but I played as per my basics and tried some new punches which helped me to win against Matiouze Royer. The best part is that I started attacking Royer from the starting of first round and my confidence level was gone up,” he added.
“He is a good fighter. I have seen his videos before this fight. With this win, my morale is really up and I am confident of doing well in all future fights.”
Vijender is scheduled to appear in his first professional fight in India later this year and can’t wait to fight at home.
“My amateur experience is helping me but pro is totally different game, so I am looking forward to my next bout on May 13 before WBO Asia Title fight in India,” Bhiwani lad said.
“It will be a home coming fight. I have invited from the prime minister to Bollywood stars to attend the match. It is going to be a great spectacle and will be a new era as it will be the first time in India,” the Olympic bronze medalist added.