Siddharth Verma’s bout on Manny Pacquaio card: A tale of surprise call, reluctance and ultimate commitment

Indian Professional boxer Siddharth Verma with Manny Pacquiao - InsideSport

India’s Siddharth Verma is all set for his dream bout on the Manny Pacquaio card tomorrow (Sunday). On the sidelines of Manny Pacquaio vs Lucas Matthysse bout, Siddharth Verma will take on Malaysian professional Theena Thayalan.

On a Super Sunday that will witness international sports two grand finals – the FIFA World Cup 2018 title clash between France and Croatia and the men’s singles summit clash at the Wimbledon – pugilist Siddharth Verma is set to create a sporting history for the professional Indian boxing.

Siddharth Verma has got a fight date alongside legendary Manny Pacquiao on Sunday (tomorrow) as the Indian Boxing Council champion will feature on the Manny Pacquaio vs Lucas Matthysse bout. Verma is slated to face Malaysian boxer Theena Thayalan over six rounds in the 66 kg category.

Verma, in fact, did not realise the potential and grandeur of the fight card when coach Girish Powar first broke him the good news of an invite to play on the Manny Pacquiao vs Luca Matthysse card. A fighter to the core and a true champion, Siddharth Verma would not enter the ring for a professional fee. He would go into a bout with a desire to win and a strong commitment and preparedness to give his opponent a tough fight.

For the all-important bout, Siddharth was neither physically nor mentally prepared. Nor was there enough time. Powar had received a call from the legendary professional boxing coach Joe Claugh to find out if Verma would fight on the Manny Pacquaio vs Lucas Matthysse card.

There was an invite to fight in the 66kg category as the call was received a month ago. Verma was weighing 74 kg then. “I felt at least this time it (the opportunity) is not mine. Let it be for some other date,” Verma told from Malaysia as he is preparing of the big day. “This was a big opportunity. I won’t take it without more than 100% commitment and preparedness. I had to shed 8 kg before climbing on to the scale and add to my strength for the bout. I felt it was not going to work on such a short notice.”

“My coach Mr Powar had faith in my abilities. But for his insistence, I won’t have been here in Malaysia today. It is his hard work, dedication and guidance that I am raring to go for the bout tomorrow.”

Pacquiao and Lucas will face each other for the Welterweight World Title in the 140lbs category. This world title fight is one of the biggest events after the 2017 mega face-off between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, titled the ‘$100-million-dollar fight’, which attracted massive attention from the Indian viewers.

The other bouts on the card will also witness the WBA 126 world title to be fought between Filipino Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KO’s) and Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 12 KO’s) of Tijuana, Mexico. Venezuelan WBA Jr. Flyweight world champion Carlos Cañizales (20-0-1, 16 KO’s) will also fight to defend his title against Chinese challenger Bin Lu (1-0, 1 KO’s).

The World Boxing Association came into existence back in 1921. Ever since this association has been giving representation to all the boxers by recognizing their talent and showcasing this talent to the world.

DSport will air the WBA Welterweight Boxing championships along with Siddharth Verma’s fight for the Indian viewers from 6:30 am.