Boxing will get bigger after London Olympics: Vijender

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Star Indian pugilist Vijender Singh expects boxing to get bigger in the country after the London Olympics as he feels men in the ring will deliver more than one medal in the quadrennial extravaganza this July.

Vijender won a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games, the lone Olympic medal in India's boxing history, and he said the country would better that in London which will further raise the profile of the sport.

"Boxing became big after Beijing Olympics and it will get bigger after London. I don't want to predict how many medals India will win from boxing in London but I think we will do better than Beijing this time. But fingers crossed, it depends on our performance," he said.

The former world number one said the profile of boxing in the country has been rising with the consistently good performance of the pugilists and availability of money in the sport.

"Now there is money in boxing. There is World Series Boxing and then the Fight Night series. Boxers can earn money and now they are better off than before," he said.

"There is more enthusiasm among youngsters now and they are taking to boxing in more numbers than the days when I took to the sport. More schoolchildren are taking to boxing now. There is change coming in for the better," said Vijender on the sidelines of NDTV's 'Marks for Sports' initiative.

Vijender, who is yet to qualify for London Olympics, said he is focussing on making the Games and not looking beyond. He will take part in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers at Astana, Kazakhstan in April.

"I am training hard in Patiala and focussing to qualify for the Olympics. By grace of God I am hoping to qualify for London and not thinking other than that," said Vijender.

Vijender supported the initiative to give marks to sports in schools in the country and said he wants it as a subject in curriculum.

"Giving marks to sports will help sportspersons take to studies and I hope sports can be a subject in schools in future," he said.

"There is a change in the perception of the parents in their children taking up to boxing and to sports in general. Giving marks to sports or sports becoming a subject will further accelerate this change in perception," he said.

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