Vijender Singh is an Indian Boxer who turned professional in 2015. He is the first Indian boxer to win a medal in the Olympic Games. In 2019, he joined the Indian National Congress to contest the 2019 General Election from South Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
Vijender Singh was born in a Jat family on 29 October 1985 (Age: 33 years, as in 2018) in Kaluwas, Bhiwani, Haryana, India. His father, Mahipal Singh Beniwal, was a bus driver in Haryana Roadways. He received his primary education from his village, Kaluwas and secondary education from Bhiwani. He enrolled at Vaish College of Education in Bhiwani and received his bachelor degree from there. Having been inspired by boxer Raj Kumar Sangwan, Vijender decided to be a boxer. His elder brother, Manoj was also a boxer. When his brother, Manoj got selected to the Indian Army by his boxing credentials, Vijender was supported by his brother financially to be a good boxer. He was trained at Bhiwani Boxing Club where a former national-level boxer and his coach, Jagdish Singh noticed his talent and groomed him in this sport. Vijender Singh was first recognized when he won a bout in state-level competition. He won a silver medal at his first sub-junior nationals in 1997 and later at the 2000 Nationals, he won his first gold medal. In 2003, he became the all India Youth Boxing champion.
Vijender Singh was born to Mahipal Singh Beniwal and Krishna.
Vijender Singh has one brother, Manoj, who is also a boxer and serves in the Indian Army.
Vijender Singh married Archana Singh on 17 May 2011.
The couple is blessed with a son, Arbir Singh.
He competed at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the welterweight division but could not secure a medal and lost to Mustafa Karagollu of Turkey by a score of 20–25. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, he edged out Neil Perkins of England in the semifinal and managed to win a silver medal before losing to South Africa’s Bongani Mwelase. Later, he decided to participate in the middleweight division. He won a bronze medal at the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha. He rose to fame when he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games after defeating Carlos Góngora of Ecuador in the quarter-final. In 2009, he was bestowed upon the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sporting honour of the country.
In January 2010, he was awarded Padma Sri for the contribution to the Indian Sports. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he lost to England’s Anthony Ogogo in the semi-final and consoled himself with a bronze medal. The same year, he won a gold medal at the Asian Games after defeating Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan with a score of 7-0 in the final. At the 2012 London Olympics, he lost to Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan in the quarter-final with a score of 13–17. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he won a silver medal after being defeated by Antony Fowler of England in the final. In 2015, he Vijender turned professional and signed a multi-year contract with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions through IOS Sports and Entertainment.
On 10 October 2015, he fought his first professional bout and defeated Sonny Whiting by TKO.
- At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Vijender was given a 2 point penalty for coming in 20 seconds late before the end of the bout.
- In 2013, the Punjab Police alleged that he bought heroin from an NRI many times. But he denied the allegation and was given a clean-chit from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
- Food(s): Grilled Lamb, Kadhai Chicken
- Boxer(s): Raj Kumar Sangwan, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali
- Cricketer(s): Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag
As in 2016, he has a net worth of Rs. 3.2 crore.
- He had a desire to be a soldier in the Indian Army but later, he chose the field of boxing.
- In 2011, he was signed for a Bollywood film, but due to his marriage, the producer dropped him considering that he won’t be as popular among females.
- Vijender cites American actor, Sylvester Stallone’s character, Rocky Balboa in his Rocky film series, as his early influences. His boxing style; hooks and uppercut are often compared with that of Rocky Balboa (Fictional Character).
- Once, his job was to be a bodyguard of actress Priyanka Chopra to protect her from the crowd, during a rally in Pune.
- His hometown, Bhiwani in Haryana is known as “Little Cuba” for giving many world class boxers.
- Apart from Mary Kom, he is the only boxer to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
- In 2009, for the brief time, he was ranked No.1 in the world in the middleweight (75 kg) division by the International Boxing Association.
- Vijender Singh and actor Akshay Kumar are good friends.
- He has also served as a DSP in Haryana Police under sports quota.
- In 2014, Vijender made his Bollywood debut with film “Fugly.”
- His hobbies are Listening to music, Workout, etc.
- In 2019, he became a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) and he was given the ticket to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha from the South Delhi constituency.