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It’s KO No. 5 for Vijender

TOO HOT: Vijender Singh (right) was in imperious form against his French opponent Matiouze Royer at Manchester Arena on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh’s power-packed punches went unchallenged yet again as he notched up his fifth successive knockout win by battering Frenchman Matiouze Royer here on Saturday.

Vijender was declared winner little over a minute into the fifth round of the six-round super middleweight contest, which was incidentally his longest bout so far.

The 30-year-old was up against his most experienced rival till date in Royer, who came into the bout with an accumulated 250 rounds under his belt.

But the Indian did not seem perturbed in the six-round contest and was once again looking to wrap it up early like his previous bouts.

Vijender spent the first round getting a measure of his overtly cautious rival, who preferred to keep a shell guard and hardly attempted a hit at his taller opponent.

But that could not save him from a couple of telling body blows from Vijender, who was also impressive with his jabs.

The Frenchman was reluctant to let go of the guard even in the second round and Vijender took it upon himself to go on the offensive.

The Indian seemed set for an early finish when he had Royer cornered with a flurry of combination punches but the Frenchman did not give in despite being left with a bloodied face owing to a cut above the left eye.

To Royer’s credit, he withstood the onslaught and even tried to attack the dominant Indian but that was hardly enough to stop Vijender’s march to victory.

Royer’s determination finally broke in the fifth round after an unrelenting Vijender brought him to his knees with an onslaught of body blows.

The 29-year-old Frenchman could not continue after that because of his bloodied eye, giving Vijender yet another dominant victory.

Good build-up

Meanwhile, Vijender said he couldn’t have asked for a better build-up to his much-anticipated homecoming to India next month.

“We had a solid game plan and I stuck to it perfectly.

“Royer is a tough opponent and made it difficult for me at times but he couldn’t handle my power and accuracy. I felt in complete control throughout the fight and it’s a shame the ref waved it off, I wanted more,” Vijender said of the bout.

“It felt like everything I was throwing was connecting.

“I’m feeling stronger with every fight and want to carry on this momentum. I’ve got a huge Indian homecoming to look forward to this summer so it’s vital I get past my next opponent in Bolton,” he added.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:35:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/It%E2%80%99s-KO-No.-5-for-Vijender/article14295560.ece

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