Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Vijender Singh has achieved yet another first for Indian boxing by becoming the world’s top-ranked pugilist in the middle weight (75kg) category.
The 23-year-old Bhiwani boxer, who won India’s maiden World Championships medal in Milan earlier this month, has 200 points and is ranked higher than the reigning champion Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan.
Atoev, to whom Vijender lost in the World Championship semifinals, is third in the list with 2100 points and Olympic silver medallist Emilio Correa Bayeux (2500) of Cuba occupies the second spot in the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) list updated after the Milan event.
“I am obviously elated at being ranked the highest in the world. It’s a fantastic feeling and would motivate me to do better in future events,” Vijender said.
Among the other Indians, former world youth champion T Nanao Singh has slipped three places to eighth with 1400 points in the light fly weight (48kg) category.
Nanao, a silver medallist in this year’s Asian Championships in China, lost in the second round of the World Championships.
Olympian Akhil Kumar, whose World Championships campaign was cut short in the first round itself due to a wrist injury, has gone down a rung to 10th in feather weight (57kg) category with 1050 points.
Fellow Olympian Jitender Kumar (54kg) also lost some ground because of his first-round exit in Milan as he dropped a place to 14th with 838 points.
Suranjoy Singh was 17th in the fly weight (51kg) category rankings. World Championship quarterfinalist Dinesh Kumar held on to his sixth spot with 1550 points in the light weight (81kg) category.