Close call: Vijender Singh narrowly defeats Zulpikar to become double-title holder

Posted August 06, 2017

So both boxers are at the start of their pro run. The fight dubbed as "Battle Ground Asia" has a lot at stake as the individual titles will be put on line. As to what lies next for Vijender; a number of boxers have been calling out the 31-year old, who before the fight was the 10th best fighter in the world as per WBO rankings. He weighed 76 kg at the official weigh-in ceremony on Friday while his opponent was 75.9 kgs. "This is India versus China, I don't need anything and I am excited, I know the whole of India is with me".

Speaking about the much-awaited encounter, Vijender had earlier trolled his opponent and said that he would try to finish the bout as soon as possible as "Chinese products don't last long". He added that even though he discussed strategy with his coaches, the former Olympian would change his game according to how the Chinese boxer behaves in the ring. "If he is going to be aggressive, I will react accordingly", said Vijender.

"There is no pressure on me as I take on Vijender".

A third and equally crucial element here of the Zulpikar camp is the boxer's father, Maimaitiali, who was a boxer himself but struggled to find quality amateur and professional competition back home in the 1980s when pro boxing was nearly unheard in China.

Vijender Singh has been training in Manchester with his trainer Lee Beard for this bout, the first ticket of which was presented to cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar at the latter's house by the boxer himself.

The evening of boxing bouts will begin at 6.30 PM IST.

Maimaitiali is 23, young, brutal and can sure give Vijender a run for his money.

It was clear that Vijender, who held a light practice session in front of an adoring audience in a gym on Wednesday, is keyed up for his first fight in Mumbai. Zulpikar said he would show Vijender his value.

The bout between Vijender Singh and Zulpikar Maimaitiali will be played at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI), in Worli, Mumbai.