he long journey for Indian welterweight Vaibhav Singh “Ahir Boxer” Yadav (9-2, 7 KOs) pays off February 18th as he makes his United States debut in a 6-round match on the “Turf War 4” card against William Parra Smith (4-13-1, 3 KOs), of Alaska.
The 27-year-old Yadav, a former WBC Asia Silver and Asian Boxing Federation welterweight champion, has relocated to Newton (MA), training at Nonantum Boxing Club under the guidance of highly respected trainer Marc Gargaro, managed by Nico Gargaro.
Team Yadev: (L-R) Manager Nico Gargaro, Vaihbav Singh Yadev and head trainer Marc Gargaro
“Turf War 4”, presented by Granite Chin Promotions, will stream live on BXNGTV.com from Melrose Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts.
In 2018, Yadav met Marc in New Delhi, India, at the World Amateur Championships. The Indian boxer introduced himself to Gargaro and he received an invitation to train in the U.S.
A year later, Yadav applied for a U.S. Visa after he captured the WBC Asia Silver title and trained for two weeks in 2020 at Nonantum Boxing Club to check out the gym, training methods and housing. “Ahir Boxer,” as he is known in the ring, then stayed an additional 2 weeks in New York before returning home to India.
“I really enjoyed that,” Yadav said about his U.S. visit. “In 2021, I returned for a 2-week training camp that ended up 4 weeks because of COVID. I live in Newton now, but I only go to the gym twice a day and then back to the house. I have learned that there are large Indian communities in Waltham and Lowell. Training here is totally different. First, it’s a lot colder, and there’s no snow in New Delhi. We do have a rainy season, but the winters are much different here than back home.
“We have really good amateur boxing in my home country, but not good pro boxing. Things here are so different than at home. Foods are much different, and training is too. It’s exhausting but I’m enjoying it here. I left my family to train here. I’ve been working on my mental health, too. I was disappointed in my performance during my first week of training here because of new training methods and my scheduling, but my second week was good.”
English is Yadav’s second language – Hindi is his first – and he is surprisingly well spoken. He learned English in school and from traveling to countries in which many people speak English.
A promotional free agent, Yadav has a career plan, which includes fighting his first world title shot in the United States rather than back home.
“I want to make my coaches and supporters proud,” Yadav noted. “I’ll turn 28 in March, and I want to fight 10 more years. The United States is every boxer’s dream. Boxing is big in the UK, but the Mecca of Boxing is the United States.”
“I think Vaibhav has great untapped potential, very good power and superb timing,” head trainer Marc Gargaro added. “Training in India has been challenging to find sparring and consistency training, but I think being here will fill in a lot of gaps and turn him into the complete fighter I envision him to be.”
Vaibhav Singh Yadav is living the dream!
In his 6-round main event, Massachusetts Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Gentle Savage” Andreozzi (4-2, 1 KO), fighting out of Swansea (MA), will make his first title defense versus challenger Jamer Jones (2-1, 2 KOs), of Pittsfield (MA).
Former New England Heavyweight Champion Justin “Crazy Train” Rolfe (7-4-1, 5 KOs), of Fairfield (ME) comes out of his brief 10-month retirement in the 6-round, co-featured event for the vacant USBF heavyweight title against Jonathan “Lethal” Gruber (3-1, 2 KOs).
Holbrook (MA) junior welterweight Mike “Bad Man” Ohan, Jr. (16-2, 9 KOs) is in his first scheduled 10-round fight against veteran Puerto Rican boxer Daniel Sostre in a rematch won by Ohan, Jr. in 2018 by way of a 6-round unanimous decision. Ohan, Jr. had an impressive performance this past December at famed Madison Square Garden, albeit in a loss to undefeated U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (7-0, KOs), in a match that was streamed live on ESPN+.
New Jersey welterweight Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (16-19-4, 12 KOs), the former ABF USA Mid-American super lightweight title holder, is also fighting on the undercard in a 6-round bout against Carlos Marrero III (4-8-3, 0 KOs), of Bridgeport (CT).
Tickets are on sale and priced (plus fees) at $70.00 (VIP Stage Seating), $60.00 (General Floor Seating) and $45.00 (General Auditorium Seating). Go online to purchase at https://granite-chin-promotions.ticketleap.com/ or from any of the participating fighters.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.