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When I met Viju (that’s what Vijender is called fondly) the day after his quarter-final bout, I noticed there was something different about him. I had not seen Viju like this in years — more precisely in the last three years.Vijender was acting brave; trying to show the world that he was fine. “It happens in sport one day… you lose, and the next day you bounce back,” he told the waiting mediapersons.But Viju knows me for a long time and treats me bit like a friend, and as soon as we moved away from the group of journalists, out came the truth. “Bhaishahab, duniya ko kya malum hum kitna pain lekar khelte hai hum (the world has no idea of how much pain we suffer while playing),” said the rugged boxer with tears in his eyes.Then, Viju lifted his shirt and I was shocked beyond words! The skin on the right side of his chest — from the top of the rib cage till the waist — was completely infected. The entire area was red with blisters all over, somewhat similar to chicken pox. The champion said he had been suffering from the infection for the last few days, and it was really painful.I asked him whether he had been taking any medicines. “I can’t take storng drugs because of doping regulations and these infections anyway take their own time to heal,” Vijender replied with a smile as he pulled his shirt down.”Kya kya dard lekar khelte hai (we endure so much pain while we play),” he said, adding that his back gave way in the middle of the quarter-final bout and forced him onto the backfoot. I could also see that he had been left with one blue eye after the bout.advertisementSo, anyone who thought that Vijender didn’t give his best in the ring against Abbos Atoev, I want you all to know that Vijender is not a loser; he is a brave fighter that we should all be proud of.”I will come back in Rio (2016 Olympics). I’m just 26,” Viju has assured us all.Good luck, fighter!