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Vijender expected to face tough fight in 6th pro bout

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Vijender SinghBolton (UK) : Just one fight away from a shot at the WBO Asia title, star Indian boxer Vijender Singh will face an experienced Andrzej Soldra of Poland in his sixth professional bout at the Macron Stadium here on May 13.

The in-form super middleweight boxer, who took bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, has made an explosive start to his professional career by blowing away his first five opponents. The 30-year-old from Haryana has won all his five fights by knockout in only 14 rounds of action.

A former World No.1 in the middweight (75kg) category during his amateur days, Vijender is confdent of beating Soldra and making his summer homecoming to India for the WBO Asia fight with his undefeated status intact.

Soldra comes into the contest against Vijender with a record of 12 wins with five knockouts from 16 fights. The 30-year-old has the edge in experience over Vijender with 81 rounds under his belt and has no fear fighting his first fight abroad. Soldra also had a brilliant record in his amateur career with 82 wins from 98 fights.

Soldra has only been stopped thrice during his professional career spanning over five years and will be looking to spoil Vijender’s party when he makes his first appearance on UK soil. Vijender knows that it is crucial to win at the Macron Stadium before setting his eyes on a huge Indian homecoming.

The undefeated Indian claimed his fifth professional win at the Copper Box Arena in London last month with a blistering fifth round stoppage of Frenchman Matiouze Royer. The Indian ended the contest in the fifth round with a punishing stoppage win over Royer and will be looking to claim another knockout win at the Macron Stadium.

“I have seen videos of Soldra he is a good opponent but I am preparing very hard to give him a tough time in the ring. He’s very experienced though and with 16 fights and 81 rounds he’s got the advantage over me in that department but I will stop him,” Vijender said.

“I know this fight is very crucial for me and I need to continue my unbeaten record and it’s important that I put on a commanding performance against Soldra to keep on course for my title shot and my homecoming. I am really excited to finish off my sixth fight on a winning note and then compete for Asia title in front of my home crowd,” he added.

However, Soldra has threatened to stop the Indian in his tracks and inflict the first loss on his record.

“Vijender has never met anyone like me and he will realise what it is like fighting with a real professional boxer on the May 13. I will take great delight in handing Vijender Singh his first loss and sending him back home to India beaten and broken,” the Polish pugilist said.

“In fact I will tell you what I will do to him, I will smash him to the body to loosen him up and then a right hand to knock him out, just watch me,” he added.

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Gulam Bodi sentenced to five years in prison

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Former Proteas batsman Gulam Body has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a match-fixing scandal, which rocked South African cricket in 2015.

The 40-year-old had pleaded guilty to eight counts of corruption in 2018, admitting to being a link between players – mostly his teammates at the Lions – and bookies during the 2015 Ram Slam T20 competition.

Bodi, who played two ODIs and one T20I, was charged under the Act after being banned by Cricket South Arica for 20 years for his role in the 2015 Ram Slam T20 scandal. The CSA, however, said none of the fixtures were affected by fixing after the plans to fix matches were foiled.

He was initially banned from all cricket-related activities for 20 years, while the other players involved – Jean Symes, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile – also received suspensions which effectively ended their playing careers.

According to reports, the 40-year-old pleaded guilty to eight counts of corruption relating to sporting activities, and begged the court for mercy after he was told he could be jailed for as many as 15 years. The sentencing was delayed on several occasions – at one point because his lawyer withdrew from the case due to Bodi’s lack of funds.

The report further said that according to court documents, Bodi had been approached by Indian “bookmakers” as early as 2014.

Bodi’s prison sentence is the highest sanction received by a South African sports personality in relation with match-fixing.

His scandal followed some 15 years after the high-profile one involving late former Proteas captain, Hansie Cronje, who was handed a life-long ban for his actions, but escaped criminal prosecution.

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