Indian boxing star Vijender Singh has started training under the under Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, who shaped the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson, for his debut in the American professional circuit on April 12.
Vijender, unbeaten in his 10-bout pro career, will make his US debut at Staples Center on THE Vasiliy Lomachenko-Anthony Crolla undercard. It will be an eight-round contest and his opponent will be announced later.
In November last year, the 2008 Olympics bronze-medallist signed a multi-year deal with legendary promoter Bob Arum's company Top Rank, thus paving the way for his debut in the United States, the most lucrative market for professional boxing.
The 33-year-old Vijender recently relocated his training base to Los Angles where he is training at the 'The Wild Card Boxing Club' under Roach, a 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) inductee, his India promoters IOS Boxing Promotions said in a press release.
In his 32 years as a trainer, Roach is widely regarded as one of the best boxing coaches of all time.
Roach has been a mentor to 36 world champions including the likes of Tyson, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, five-time and four-division world champion Miguel Cotto and multiple world champion Oscar De La Hoya. He has also trained former junior welterweight champion, Amir Khan.
Vijender's April 12 bout will stream live in the United States.
"I am thrilled to start my training under such a legendary figure in world boxing," Vijender said.
"Professional boxing in the United States is of the highest level, and I believe Freddie is the right guy to bring the best out of me. I look forward to showing the boxing fans a new and improved Vijender Singh," he added.
Roach feels India's first Olympic medallist in boxing has what it takes to be a world champion in the highly competitive US circuit.
"I believe Vijender has the talent and the dedication to become a world champion," Roach said.
"He has a great amateur background, a style that will give any super middleweight in the world problems, and power in both hands," he added.
Commenting on this new association, Promoter of IOS Boxing Promotions Neerav Tomar said "...we hope together with Freddie, Vijender will be able to script history. We at IOS are thrilled the association."
(With PTI inputs)