EXCLUSIVE SAT INTERVIEW By Neeraj Nanda
Predeep ‘Indian Warrior’ Singh, 22, you may already have seen him on Foxtel’s production of the reality boxing series “The Contender”. Originally from Haryana in India, Pradeep has been in Melbourne for six years, during which time he has established himself as one of the few truly elite world title prospects in this country. Voted “Best Boxer 2006” at the prestigious Victorian Trainers League Professional Boxing Awards, Pradeep has already held both the P.A.B.A and even more highly rated O.P.B.F Middleweight Titles, despite being yet to hit 25 years of age. Pradeep Singh, who’s best, is still ahead of him, is most certainly one to watch. A veritable training machine, the only thing he does with equal fervour is smile and laugh. Pradeep’s coming bout is on 23rd September, with Sam Soliman for the IBF Middleweight title. Pradeep was in SOUTH ASIA TIMES office recently, where he talked to EDITOR, NEERAJ NANDA on different aspects of his life and career.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Why are you known as the ‘Indian Warrior’?
A: Because there is no other professional Indian boxer, I am the only one. In India, there are 12 rounds and that is too long. I am in professional boxing in Australia and one needs to be a ‘warrior’.
Q: Have you ever represented India?
A: Yes, four times in international sporting events as amateur including the Commonwealth and YMCA Games.
Q: How did you come to Australia?
A: I was a member of the Indian team during the Commonwealth Games (junior) held in Bendigo in 2004. There is too much politics in Indian sports. I stayed here and turned a ‘professional’ in 2005. I was awarded the Best Boxer of Victoria by the Victorian Boxing Federation.
Q: Tell us about the Foxtel’s ‘The Contender’ series?
A: It was a boxing reality show. They took the top 14 boxers in Australia, they lived and trained together. I was comfortable in the 12 part series of one hour each.
Q: Are you full time boxer now?
A: Yes, I am a full time professional boxer. I dedicate every day to boxing. My trainers are Frank Binaco and Bruno Scriva. Earlier, I worked in the construction industry.
Q: How many wins and losses?
A: 120 wins and only 3 losses.
Q: How do you make your ends meet?
A: I have big sponsors like The Pancake Parlour, Sporting bet, La Precast, Control Constructions, Kevin Dennis Holden, Safety Scaffolding, Sweat Science Lab Boxing Fitness, XL Concrete, Elite Cranes and Cubo Life. They look after my day to day expenses including, living expenses ,diet, training, travel etc.
Q: Who are your boxing inspirations?
A: Oscar Delahoya. Md. Ali and so on.
Q: What do you say to the Indian community in Australia?
A: I want them to feel proud that an Indian pro boxer (professional boxer) is doing well in the boxing scene here.
Q: What do you feel about the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010?
A: They are good for India and sports persons.
Q: Why can’t you represent Australia in the CWG 2010?
A: I cannot, because ‘professionals’ cannot participate in such sporting events.
Q: Lastly, what is the Bollywood connection of your opponent Sam Soliman whom you will fight on 23rd September?
A: That’s interesting. He acted in a Bollywood movie ‘Apne’ starring Dharmendra, Sunny Doel and Bobby Doel. In the movie, Sam fights Bobby Doel in a boxing match.
Pradeep Singh will fight for the ‘IBF Middleweight Title’ with Sam Soliman on Thursday 23rd September @ the Flemmington Racecourse. To reserve your seats call Sweet Science Lab at (03) 9723 9988.
Source: SAT, September 2010 issue.