'Vijender is a real hero.'
'He is going to represent India this Saturday and the weight of the whole nation is on his shoulders.'
Boxing ace Vijender Singh and Bollywood star John Abraham interact with school students ahead of Vijender's WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title bout in Delhi on July 16.
Rediff.com's Harish Kotian listens in.
Indian boxing star Vijender Singh believes his bout against Australian Kerry Hope for the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight crown will go a long way in determining the future of pro boxing in the country.
"There is no pressure, but more responsibility, I believe, because this fight will decide the future of pro boxing in India," he says.
"A lot of people are excited about it and will come to watch it, so I have to give my 100 percent and want to win the title. That will be very important," Vijender said in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Do check the video as John gets a few tips on boxing from Vijender:
The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist and Bollywood star John Abraham interacted with students of the Jamnabai Narsee School in northwest Mumbai.
Vijender, who switched to pro boxing last year, has proved unstoppable, winning his first six fights, all via knock-out.
John urged the students to cheer the boxer during his title fight at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on Saturday.
"Vijender is a real hero. He is going to represent India this Saturday and the weight of the whole nation is on his shoulders," John said.
"When a boxer like Vijender has turned pro. he is actually going to be fighting for each and everyone of you and for the Indian flag," the actor added, "it is fantastic!"
The 10-round contest against the 34-year-old Australian southpaw, who has the experience of 30 bouts, with a 23-7 record behind him, is Vijender's first big test in pro boxing.
"He is an experienced guy, but we will take him (down)," Vijender promised. "it will not be that difficult. If he has the experience, I have an Olympic medal too."
The 30 year old refrained from getting into a war of words with his opponent, insisting that he (Vijender) is "a good boy of boxing."
"Before the fight I don't want to make any bad comments, like 'I am going to destroy him' or something like that. I am a good boy of boxing."