This piece was published in Sportskeeda
Indian boxing’s biggest medal hope in international competitions, Vijender Singh, has decided to pursue greener pastures beyond amateur boxing by turning professional, inking a multi-year deal with Queensberry Promotions through IOS Sports and Entertainment. But, will it be easy for him to carry out the transition from amateur to professional boxing?
Professional boxing offers attractive moolah, which is one of the biggest reasons why it entices amateur boxers to take the ‘professional route’. The mega bucks are surely the calling card for boxers, but one cannot deny that professional boxing is more rugged, strenuous and demands more dare-devilry than seen in amateur boxing.
“Not possible to be a pro boxer and have a government job”Although the officially Haryana Police are yet to take cognisance of his move to turn ‘professional’ sources say the ace boxer will have to give up his government job. A government job is handed to a sportsperson for winning laurels on the international stage, which obviously demands representing the country in all international competitions.
Apart from the job, the government authorities spend a lot of on a sportsperson’s training, diet and overseas tours. And by turning professional Vijender will have to do without all this.
“Look, he was appointed as DSP of Haryana Police for his exploits in the Beijing Olympics among others. Turning professional means he will not represent the country anymore. How can a boxer play professional boxing and hold on to a government job? It is just not possible,” said a source close to Boxing India.
It is learnt that Vijender was on probation with Haryana Police and is yet to do his police training. Although Vijender has many backers in the policy fraternity for his boxing exploits, his decision to turn professional hasn’t quite gone down well with local people.
“He could have boxed in the 2016 Rio Olympics and maybe after the age of 32-33, could have taken up professional boxing. Turning professional at the age of 29 is something that serves as a disappointment,” said a local boxing official.
Haryana Police has employed other ace boxers like Akhil Kumar, Paramjeet Samota and Vikas Yadav. It remains to be seen as to when Haryana Police takes an official call on Vijender’s DSP job.