The 35-year-old turned professional after winning accolades as an amateur.
Vijender Singh is the most notable name when it comes to the sport of boxing in India. The Haryana-born former Olympian has represented India at the highest level. He has now turned into a professional boxer after signing Queensberry Promotions.
The middleweight boxer has a long list of achievements in his career. He has also won several medals while representing the country in international meets. He has also been honoured with civilian awards for his services to the nation.
Looking back at his amateur career and accolades, here are the top five achievements of Vijender Singh’s career:
5. Three medals in Commonwealth Games
Vijender Singh has been sensational at the Commonwealth Games too. He has recorded three medals across three different editions. During the 2006 Melbourne games, Vijender secured a silver medal in the welterweight category. This was the first of three medals for the boxer.
In the 2010 Delhi games, He secured a bronze medal. However, he was disappointed not to have delivered gold while competing at the home turf in front of Indian fans. Vijender’s last appearance at the Commonwealth Games came during the 2014 Glasgow games where he won a silver medal.
4. National awards
He is outrightly one of the most popular boxers in India. He is credited for bringing the limelight to the sport and inspiring the masses to take it up as a career. Recognising his feats and contribution, the Government of India honoured the boxer with several national awards.
In 2009, alongwith Mary Kom, Vijender Singh was honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. In 2010, he was conferred the Padma Shri award too, which is the fourth-highest civilian award in India.
3. Gold in Asian Games 2010
Vijender Singh was exceptional at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. He secured his first-ever and only gold medal at any of the international meets. The victory was much sweeter as the Indian boxer defeated Abbos Atoev in the final, getting revenge for the defeat at the 2009 World Championships.
He secured the gold medal by defeating the boxer from Uzbekistan by a score of 7-0 in the final bout. This came at the backdrop of a frustrating exit from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
2. Bronze in World Championships 2009
The period of 2008/09 was one of the most fruitful parts of Vijender Singh’s career. He carried his Olympic form into the World Championships 2009 held in Milan, Italy. Contesting in the middleweight category, he went into the latter stages of the competition.
He lost to Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals yet again and had to settle for a bronze medal in the middleweight category. However, thanks to his string of good performances, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Vijender Singh as the top-ranked boxer in the middleweight (75 kg) category.
1. Bronze in Olympics 2008
Vijender Singh created history during the summer Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Indian became the first boxer ever from the country to win an Olympic medal. He secured a bronze medal for India after beating Carlos Gongora of Ecuador 9-4 in the quarter-finals of the middleweight category.
He lost in the semi-finals to Cuba’s Emilio Correa by a score of 5-8. With the rules of boxing, all the boxers who crash out in the semi-finals are ensured of a bronze medal. Therefore, Vijender earned a first-ever boxing Olympic medal for India.