India’s Vijender Singh outpunched Tanzania’s Francis Cheka by technical knockout at the Thyagaraj Stadium here on Saturday to defend his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.
The 31-year-old Indian took just three rounds to conquer the current African champion in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Super Middleweight division to extend his unbeaten streak to eight bouts since turning professional.
Cheka, a veteran of 16 years at the professional level, had won 32 of his 43 bouts before Saturday’s fight and was expected to give a strong challenge to Vijender.
But the Haryana pugilist proved far too superior to his 34-year-old opponent.
The 2012 Beijing Olympics bronze medalist used his superior strength and height advantage over the 5’10 Cheka to good effect, dominating most of the exchanges.
Vijender was a bit cagey at the start, trying to get the measure of his opponent with the African throwing most of the punches in the early stages.
Vijender however, successfully defended the early punches from his opponent and started dominating the first round.
Cheka was trying to make it hard for Vijender to score with his impressive fitness and mobility, but the Indian used his superior reach to build up a 3-1 lead by the end of the opening period.
The Tanzanian came out firing on all cylinders in the second round with Vijender continuing with his cautious approach.
But the Indian soon increased the tempo and dominated the second round as well, landing seven punches to Cheka’s three.
The third round witnessed the Haryana boxer completely dominating the contest as he cornered the Tanzanian and peppered him with powerful punches prompting the referee to stop the contest and award the bout in Vijender’s favour by a technical knockout.
Indian boxers dominated the undercard fights as well, winning four of the five bouts.
In the first fight of the evening, Rajesh Kumar beat Uganda’s Mubaraka Sseguya by a split decision in the Lightweight category. The first judge scored it 39-37, the second 37-38 and the third 39-37.
In the same category, Kuldeep Dhanda outpunched Indonesia’s Egy Rozten by a unanimous decision.
In the Welterweight division, Deepak Tanwar outclassed Indonesian Sutriyono Bara Boys by technical knockout. Deepak has won all his four fights so far at the professional level.
Dharmender Grewal overpowered Ugandan Abasi Kyobe by unanimous decision in the Cruiserweight division.
All three judges decided in the Punjab boxer’s favour by a 40-36 margin.
The only Indian defeat of the night came when Australia’s Scott Edwards pipped Pardeep Kharera by unanimous decision in a Welterweight contest.