Vijender targeting Rio Games to climb medal podium again

India's star boxer Vijender Singh, who failed to bag a medal at the London Olympics after being billed as a major podium hope in the run-up to the Games, has set his sights on the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro before considering joining the professional ranks in the ring sport.

"I am not looking at (turning) professional right now. Let me play one more Olympics (in 2016 at Rio in Brazil). Then I will look at it," Vijender said at the launch of Swiss watch 'Victorinox' here.

Vijender had provided the country with its first ever Olympics medal from the boxing ring by securing a bronze in the 2008 Games in Beijing, but returned empty-handed from London.

Countering criticism in some quarters that he was busy endorsing brands than focusing on boxing after crashing out in the quarter-final stage in London Games, Vijender said, "People just talk. If I had won the quarter-finals then people would have been running around me. It is a part of sport."

The pugilist gave a thumbs down to the proposed change in rules of AIBA (world amateur boxing body) that would do away with head-guards in elite men's competition as he thought they would not be in the interest of amateur boxing.

"Let us see what the impact will be. If you implement it from childhood days, then the pain bearing capacity increases. In amateur boxing if you apply these professional rules, then I don't think it is good for amateur boxing. Amateur boxing will be slowly finished then.

"The difference between amateur and professional is that there is more safety in amateur (boxing). If you remove this, then there will be no safety. I don't think it will be profitable to anyone," said the 26-year-old boxer.

AIBA has passed a motion, after its last executive committee meeting, to stop the use of head-guards in all elite men's competition from next year.

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