India has always idolized its sporting superstars and boxer Vijender Singh is one of the country’s favorite superstars. The 31 year old Vijender had an unbeaten 8-0 record entering into Saturday night’s fight against China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali who also had an unbeaten 8-0 record.
King Of Asia
The fight was being promoted as the ‘King of Asia’ match as Singh was putting his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight belt on the line and the 23 year old Maimaitiali was putting his WBO Oriental Super Middleweight belt on the line as well. Vijay was the favorite going into the fight as he was fighting in Mumbai and had the crowd behind him.
Vijender Singh had a great start to the fight and looked confident and in command. However Maimaitiali soon began to find his timing and get his range worked out. The two slugged it out and there were a couple of times were it appeared that Maimaitiali landed a low blow and put Singh of his game plan. Singh went hard at Maimaitiali but the young Chinese fighter traded blow for blow and in the final two rounds, appeared to be the stronger and better fight as Singh looked out of gas.
In the lead up to the fight, Singh allured to the fact that Chinese products did not last long and expected to finish the fight quick. However it became evident as the fight kept going into the final rounds that Singh was in danger of being finished. He somehow managed to hug his opponent and stay out of arms way to leave it into the hands of the judges.
The judges scored the 10 round bout 96-93, 95-94, 95-94 to give Vijender Singh the win and remain unbeaten. In a statement, Singh said “The fight was really good, I didn’t expect (it will go all the way), it was 10 rounds, at times the Chinese products last a little long, it was an amazing fight and fun! The fight was tough and a lot of blood oozed out, but finally win was ours, it was nice.”
The two fighters showed a lot of mutual respect to each other after the fight, with Maimaitiali giving Singh his cap and Singh offering Maimaitiali his belt. Singh also ended the evening by dedicating his title to India-China friendship and said that he wanted peace and friendship between the two countries instead of escalating border tensions and issues between the two countries.