This is why for the last month at Beard’s academy in Manchester, Vijender has been sparring exclusively with southpaws. And while southpaws are hard to fight they are also beatable. While Beard has a number of strategies that Vijender has been practicing, the key is to keep the opponent off balance as much as possible. The best way to do this is for a Vijender to keep his lead (left) foot on the outside as much as possible.“This will give him the opportunity to throw punches with both hands while making it hard for Kerry to throw his power left hand,” says Beard. Indeed in Vijender’s third professional bout, against Alexander Horvath – the only professional southpaw he has faced so far – the Indian executed the plan perfectly. He made Horvath constantly have to reach out for him while leaving himself open for counters. The Indian has another option of using the southpaw’s own momentum against him.“Vijender needs to use his jab not only as a punch but simply use it to parry Kerry’s own jab,” he says. By turning the southpaw away from him, the Indian opens up the Australian’s body to the combination.The strategies Beard suggests need perfect coordination to pull off. While they may have worked against Horvath, Beard admits, it will be harder to pull off against a quality opponent like Hope. But Beard isn’t particularly worried. He says with Vijender’s power, he needs just a single opening to determine the contest. “Kerry is a busy fighter and I’m sure he would have his plans for this fight. For the first couple of rounds, I think Vijender will look to take control of the fight and the moment he lands his right hand, the fight will be as good as over,” Beard says.