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Vijender Singh to defend WBO title against Francis Cheka on Saturday

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Indian boxing star Vijender Singh on Tuesday said that he is well prepared to face Tanzanian Francis Cheka as he bids to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title in New Delhi on Saturday.

Olympic 2008 bronze medallist Vijender, who is on a highly impressive 7-0 unbeaten record, sounded confident during the pre-bout face-off against 34-year-old Cheka, the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) champion.

"I am very confident ahead of my title defence. Since the last seven-eight weeks I have been training and it was good. I am well-prepared and ready to show him who is the best," Vijender said at the event held at a city hotel.

"I won this title with so much pride in front of my people, with their support and love, and I am not going to let it go that easily."

Both the pugilists were involved in a war of words ahead of the bout to be held at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in the national capital.

Cheka termed Vijender inexperienced and claimed that his record of 43 fights with no less than 17 knockout wins will give him advantage.

"Vijender has little experience in pro boxing. He is like a child who has just gotten into the professional ring and doesn't know what all challenges will he face," Cheka said through a translator.

"I have been preparing very hard for this, this is like a whole new challenge for me, and I am all geared up and set to take him down. My punches will knock out Vijender in the early rounds in front of his home crowd."

The African champion also said that he will be fighting in Asia for the first time and wishes to win over new fans through the win on Saturday.

Vijender replied: "He thinks I am a beginner in the professional ring, I will just wait for 4 more days and show him what a child's punch feels like. I only let my punches do the talking. For me boxing and performance matter."

Apart from this bout, the boxing event also has five other undercard fights following up to the main bout. IOS Boxing Promotions has brought in Pardeep Kharkera (67kg), Kuldeep Dhanda (61kg), Dharmender (91kg), Deepak Tanwar (67kg)) and Rajesh Kumar (61kg).

Neerav Tomar, Promoter, IOS Boxing Promotions, said that they faced a lot of hardships in putting together this event due to the demonetisation.

"Having committed sponsors early on helped in overcoming the difficulties," he said.