Commonwealth Games silver medallist boxer Mandeep Jangra on Monday knocked out Devon Lira of the USA in his second professional bout in Florida. The referee had to stop the match in the second round after Mandeep out-punched his opponent as a vicious upper-cut from the Haryana boy left the local favourite bleeding.
The technique reminded many of his past ‘guru’ Akhil Kumar, who was famous for his attack-minded boxing style. Mandeep trained under the former Olympian before moving to the professional arena. Mandeep travelled to USA five months back for training. He then won his first professional bout against Ramos in a four-round unanimous decision in the super welterweight category in May.
Speaking to DLP from Florida after his second bout, Mandeep said, “I am happy with the way my game is going. My coaches Marc Farrait and Asa Beard are training me well. I feel I have learnt a lot since my first fight as a professional and I was excited to put on a good show here. I didn’t give Devon any chance.”
“I have a great team around me in ProBox Promotions and I am very thankful for all the Indian people that support me, not just back home but in the local community in Florida. The Indian people who have supported me my whole career always keep me motivated to bring more success in boxing back to India.”
“I promise I will put on the best performance of my career in my coming fights and I will continue to fight for the people of India and towards of my goal of being a champion. I want to be a role model for the children in India and encourage them that they can be successful in life through sports.”
The boxer, who was once a competitor to Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh, deserves more praise for the win as he shifted from his forte 75kg in amateur boxing to the 61kg category in pro boxing. In order to fit in, the boxer had to shed a lot of weight after tedious workout sessions and other sacrifices were also part of it.
“My family got worried with my sudden change in body weight. But this is how athletes take risks in life to make their dreams come true. I want to win WBC title,” he concluded.