Vijender Singh is all set to defend his WBO Super Middleweight Asia Pacific title against one of his most accomplished opponents and current intercontinental champion Francis Cheka on December 17, in Thyagraj stadium , New Delhi.
My analysis on this fight :
Francis Cheka is the most experienced opponent Vijender has faced to date. He has had 43 professionals fights under his cap with 32 wins and 17 of them coming via knockout. Francis has shared rings with high quality opponents like
a) Fedor Chudinov of Russia who was former WBA super middleweight champion before he lost it to Felix Sturm in a controversial decision.
b) Matthew Macklin of Britain, who challenged three times for world titles, one of those world titles challenges being against the fearsome Gennady Golovkin in which he was knocked out in the third round.
c) Paul Smith of great Britain who was a former British Super Middleweight champ and 2 times world title challenger, he fought American boxing champ, Andre Ward, where he was knocked out by ward in the 9th round and suffered a broken nose.
Even though he has shared the ring with top quality opponents he has failed to deliver ON the big stages.
Considering the fact that Vijender is fighting Francis in his 8th fight , whereas Paul Smith fought him in his 22nd fight and Matthew Macklin took on Cheka at his 24th fight proves the fact that Cheka is a very high-quality operator and Vijender has been taking on tough fights at the very beginning of his career.
Cheka has an experience of over 300 rounds compared to just 27 rounds of Vijender Singh.
This fight is, however, favorable to Singh as he has 2-inch height and reach advantage over Cheka. However, the age is also one of the major factors.
Cheka is 34 years old and has had almost passed his prime. However, styles make fight and Vijender and his promoter Frank Warren know this fact very well and this looks to me as cherry-picking. BoxNationTV has already tapped the Indian market and there is still a lot of cash to be made from Vijender, so it is very unlikely that they will feed Vijender some dangerous opponent but I am pretty sure BoxnationTV will feed us this fight as a very difficult fight for Vijender and will do anything to hype it up. They did the same against his last opponent Kerry Hope, who was a decent operator but he was a middleweight and had never fought at super middleweight before.
Vijender Singh is ranked 10 by WBO and after this fight against Cheka who ranked 55 at Boxrec, Vijender’s ranking is likely to go up.