Indian boxing sensation Vijender Singh spent yesterday afternoon meeting MP Keith Vaz at the House of Commons.
“We were delighted with your first win,” said Mr Vaz, MP for Leicester East.
Vijender, speaking the day before his 30th birthday, was clearly thrilled to be at Parliament “It’s an honour to be here ahead of my next fight.”
In front of members of the UK & Indian media, Mr Vaz alongside both Vijender and Francis Warren were optimistic this could be the start of something big for Indian boxing.
“It takes time to increase the level of awareness for other sports like boxing in India, cricket is really huge, but slowly it’s going to get bigger,” stated Singh.
Francis Warren recalled his trip to Delhi to announce the signing of the decorated amateur’s switch to the pro ranks.
“I can honestly say it was the biggest boxing press conference I’ve attended. The Indian public have firmly got behind him.
“Usually you get a sport that gives birth to a star, I think we have a star here that gives to the sport”.
Vijender will be the guest of honour switching on the Diwali lights in front of an expected 15,000 crowd in Leicester this Sunday.
“You might think you are in New Delhi, but you are definitely in Leicester!” joked Mr Vaz.
The Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee continued “We’re certainly looking at Vijender to be the poster boy for Indian boxing.”
2010’s Asian Games Champion was later presented with an early 30th birthday present as Mr Vaz urged people to get behind the Olympic Bronze medallist.
“Our community needs to support him, it’s going to be a popular move.”
Next Saturday sees Vijender Singh make his second professional fight in Dublin live on BoxNation.
“I’ve trained in Ireland before the 2012 Olympics. It’s fun, the people are nice and I’m looking forward to going back,” revealed Singh, who takes on Dean Gillen.