Indian sensation Vijender Singh impressed fans at the Manchester Arena and those watching on BoxNation when he made a successful professional debut in October, stopping Sonny Whiting inside three rounds.
Vijender is out to impress his new fans in Dublin on Saturday when he faces Dean Gillen on our big bill from the Irish capital.
Here are five reasons why he has a shot at becoming a major superstar in the boxing world.
1) Glamour Division
He launched his professional career as a middleweight, one of boxing’s blue riband divisions. Middleweight champions have a history of breaking into the mainstream a lot easier than many weights and attract mass attention.
2) Top Team
Vijender has wisely decided to leave his carrer in the hands of a team soaked in experience. His promoter Frank Warren is Britain’s most successful promoter of the last 30 years, and his son, Francis works with Vijender daily. Head trainer is Lee Beard who is young but worked with some of boxing’s biggest names and fiercely ambitious
The middleweight hopeful is feted back home in India and has starred in TV shows and Bollywood films. Despite being a pin-up boy back there he left his home comforts behind and moved to Manchester where he lives in a small apartment on the outskirts of the city. That proves his hunger to become a professional star.
4) Well Schooled
Although Beard and his right hand man Haroon Headley admit they have a lot of work to do, they were impressed with so much about Vijender when he walked into their Manchester gym in July.
Beard was mightily impressed with how well schooled Vijender was from his elite amateur days and spoke of a powerful jab, surprising strength and crucially say Vijender is a quick learner.
5) Indian Support
If Vijender delivers in the ring it will be only a matter of time before he returns to India and headlines a major show. There would be huge global interest if he became India’s first world professional boxing champion and that would lead to major purses. It also gives him the potential to be celebrated there like cricket superstars.