Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali, WBO title bout, boxing highlights: Vijender wins cliffhanger vs Zulpikar | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali, WBO title bout, boxing highlights: Vijender wins cliffhanger vs Zulpikar

Vijender Singh of India defeated China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali to win the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight title. Meanwhile, Jitender Kumar and Akhil Kumar both won their pro boxing debuts. Catch boxing highlights of Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali here.

other sports Updated: Aug 05, 2017 22:33 IST
Vijender Singh defeated Zulpikar Maimaitiali by referee’s decision to win the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight boxing titles in Mumbai. Catch boxing highlights of Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali, WBO title bout, here.
Vijender Singh defeated Zulpikar Maimaitiali by referee’s decision to win the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight boxing titles in Mumbai. Catch boxing highlights of Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali, WBO title bout, here.(Getty Images)

Vijender Singh Vijender Singh of India defeated China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali in a nail-biting finish to win the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight title. Meanwhile, Jitender Kumar and Akhil Kumar both won in their pro boxing debuts. Catch boxing highlights of Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali here. (PREVIEW)

22:30 hrs IST: “I didn’t expect this fight. I thought this would last for a maximum of 5-6 rounds. Hence I didn’t fight according to my strategies. I just want to tell China, please don’t come to our border. This is for peace,” says Vijender. “The blows disturbed me. He (Maimaitiali) has been fantastic. His aggression was terrific,” he adds.

22:28 hrs IST: “I will give this title back to Zulpikar. This is a message for peace,” says Vijender after the win. So both boxers get to keep their belts after all.

22:25 hrs IST: It’s over! Vijender wins the titles! 96-93, 95-94, 95-94 in his favour. The docked points seem to have cost Zulpikar dear. Just five points. Ouch! Nonetheless, the crowd’s ecstatic but it’s not a repeat of Delhi. Guests are seated, and Baba Ramdev has not lunged inside the ring!

22:10 hrs IST: Here we go. Off to the last round. Three minutes away from one of these two champions walking out with two titles.

22:08 hrs IST: Vijender’s struggling a bit here. There’s blood pouring out of his nose.

22:07 hrs IST: The crowd’s shouting “Cheater Cheater” as Zulpikar lands in yet another low blow. Seems like a final warning for the Chinese pugilist.

22:03 hrs IST: That’s the end of the eighth round, and Maimaitiali continues to go after Vijender. The Indian has done well to defend himself here. This is heading into a very tight finish.

22:00 hrs IST: At the end of seven rounds, it’s fair to say Vijender looks like the one who’s more tired between the two, but he also has quite a few punches to his name. Also, Maimaitiali’s docked points are bound to help Vijender, but it’s getting exceedingly close in the middle. Maimaitiali is putting on quite a show here!

21:56 hrs IST: And that’s the second time Vijender was down on the ground. Whether it was a slip like last time or it was an impact of Zulpikar’s jab, it certainly wasn’t the best of rounds for Vijender.

21:53 hrs IST: Vijender’s taken yet another hit on his thigh, definitely frustrating for the Harayana-lad. Referee warns him yet again!

21:52 hrs IST: Both seem to have a proper gameplan here. They are here for the long haul.

21:48 hrs IST: No point was deducted but Zulpikar’s been warned for a low-blow. This has been a terrific round for Vijender!

21:46 hrs IST: There’s a fair bit of patriotic flavour going on out here at the moment. You can here a ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ in almost every second minute. It doesn’t matter who says it for the first time though,, a thousand voices immediately backs the frail sloganeering!

21:42 hrs IST: Vijender fails to control himself as he tries to avoid a blow from Zulpikar. He falls down but there’s the bell. Round three done and dusted.

21:40 hrs IST: Each jab’s worth a thousand cheers here at the NSCI, it seems. The crowd’s been ecstatic so far to every single blow. At the end of Round 2, Vijender has been steady and has controlled his punches well.

21:35 hrs IST: Sachin Tendulkar, who was handed the first ticket of the big night, has not turned up for tonight’s event.

21:33 hrs IST: Vijender Singh starts cautiously in the first round. Zulpikar with a few body tags.

21:30 hrs IST: The stadium’s packed to capacity and it’s an electrifying atmosphere here. 10 rounds, three minutes each and a winner with two belts! Here we go!

21:27 hrs IST: The national anthems of both the nations are now being played in the middle.

21:25 hrs IST: The showdown begins, ladies and gentlemen. Here comes Vijender as the Bollywood number Singh is King is played on full volume!

21:23 hrs IST: So here we go! Out comes Zulpikar Maimaitiali!

21:20 hrs IST: There’s just been a tribute to the late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. Arko Pravo sang the iconic In the end and so did the crowd.

21:15 hrs IST: Amitabh Bachhan and Abhishek Bachhan make their way into the arena. And the crowd’s off to singing Bollywood songs!

21:05 hrs IST: Baba Ramdev has just reached the arena and is greeted to a thunderous cheer. Hockey legend Dhanraj Pilliai is also here.

20:52 hrs IST: For the record, Indians have won all the seven fights so far, although one was an all-Indian affair.

20:50 hrs IST: And Goyat’s done it! He has successfully defended his WBC Asian welterwight title through unanimous decision. The Filipino seems disappointed, but the crowd surely has had their share of entertainment.

20:47 hrs IST: It’ll be a nervous couple of minutes for the boxers. Both have their arms held high, both are smiling and both feel they’ve won it. Up to the referees now!

20:45 hrs IST: This is the last round, and thus, there’s no more of the defensive strategies. You can literally hear the punches landing on the body from up here! That’s the frequency at which the two have been having a go at each other. A knockout seems unlikely and thus the punches are going to help them seal the victory. This has undoubtedly been the fight of the night so far, and the crowd has been firmly behind Goyat.

20:42 hrs IST: We’re off to Round 12 now! While Goyat has been landing in punches in combinations, Tanada has been attacking in between.

20:38 hrs IST: Amar Singh, Anu Malik, Dino Morea and Sonu Sood, among others, are here as well. Meanwhile, Goyat and Tanada are about to head into the 11th round.

20:31 hrs IST: Another close round, with both boxers going after each other. This has been a very good bout so far.

20:26 hrs IST: Goyat hands Tanada a bit of a pounding in the seventh round, lands quite a few jabs on the Filipino.

20:22 hrs IST: Both boxers going for it in the sixth round, but both standing their ground really well. This is turning out to be a very tight affair in Mumbai.

20:15 hrs IST: Goyat ends that round well. He has shown a bit of aggression after a defensive start. Will this bout go the distance?

20:11 hrs IST: Goyat ends the round on a high though, lands in a punch before showboating a bit. Well, now there’s a bit for the audience as well!

20:07 hrs IST: Tanada, who’s fought abroad as well seems unperturbed by the noise levels and the chants. He’s going in pretty confident and has been aggressive. Goyat however, has resorted to simply dodging those jabs and hooks. Tanada’s started the third round right from where he had left the second. Goyat’s taken a solid blow there.

20:04 hrs IST: Tanada lands quite a few punches and that drops the noise level drastically.

20:02 hrs IST: Not too much action so far from the boxers. It’s been pretty defensive as the bell goes off for the first round.

20:01 hrs IST: Tanada’s landing in quite a few blows but is yet to breach Goyat’s defence. And the customary “Jo bole so nihal...” chants are on! The atmosphere’s getting better as we inch closer towards the big fight.

19:57 hrs IST: It’s the first title fight of the night! Both boxers have stepped inside the ring. Goyat has an impressive 8-2 win loss record. His other two bouts have ended in draws.

19:53 hrs IST: Celebrities are pouring into the NSCI. The welwterweight clash is about to get underway. India’s Neeraj Goyat set to take on Allan Tanada of the Phillipines.

19:47 hrs IST: It’s all building up to the big fight of the night between Vijender Singh vs Zulpikar Maimaitiali. Guess what? Amitabh Bachchan is on his way to the NSCI. It can’t get bigger than this!

19:45 hrs IST: In the next bout, India’s Neeraj Goyat will defend his WBC Asia Pacific welterweight title against Phillippines’ Allan Tanada.

19:40 hrs IST: “Age doesn’t matter. Where we are right now, in Mumbai, there are several superstars and while some are 49, some are 52 and so on,” says Akhil. Well, quite a candid confession for a 36-year-old who’s just turned pro!

19:37 hrs IST: It’s all over! Gilchrist seems to have suffered an injury near his abdomen. The two boxers meet, speak a bit and the referee has confirmed that there won’t be any further action on the ring. It’s a winning start to Akhil Kumar’s pro boxing career and yet another technical knockout in favour of an Indian.

19:36 hrs IST: Gilchrist, on the other hand, has his guard held up tight. This has surely been a better round for the Australian but not quite a dominant one. The Rohtak-lad still looks in cruise control despite the injury

19:35 hrs IST: And that’s Akhil’s old style out all again. No guards at all and he’s relying on his reflexes to land in the jabs.

19:33 hrs IST: A small cut on top of Akhil’s left eyebrow and that seems to have charged him up. Lands in a flurry of punches, pushing Gilchrist to the corner.

19:30 hrs IST: Akhil had started on a defensive note with a more closed stance but lands in a few jabs at Gilchrist. At the end of the first round, it’s completely been a one-way show for Akhil.

19:27 hrs IST: And here comes Akhil! That’s surely got the crowd buzzing once again. The long break had forced quite a few to take a snack-break but they are back and can be seen heading back to their seats.

19:25 hrs IST: Gilchrist comes out in the middle after what has now been quite a lengthy break between the matches

19:20 hrs IST: Akhil Kumar makes his pro boxing debut shortly. He had earlier told Hindustan Times that his foray into pro boxing is primarily because he hopes it will help ease off the memories of losing his quarter-final bout at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Will he begin his professional career with a win tonight?

19:14 hrs IST: The crowd’s steadily growing in number as well and is expected to fill up the few empty seats in the stands before the big fight of the night.

19:10 hrs IST: Not a bad way to start a professional career! Wrapped up in just two rounds. Up next in the junior welterweight category, Akhil Kumar takes on Australian Ty Gilchrist.

19:05 hrs IST: Jitender Kumar wins his bout against Thanet Likhitkamporn. The referee hands the fight in favour of the Bhiwani-lad via a technical knock-out

19:03 HRS IST: Chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ going on in loop at the moment. And the noise level increases every time Jitender gets close to his opponent Thanet Likhitkamporn.

19:00 hrs IST: Jitender’s been quite dominant in that first round. Landed quite a few meaty blows, which will definitely help his score.

18:54 hrs IST: Jitender Kumar’s bout is up next. He will take on Thanet Likhitkamporn of Thailand in the Lightweight category.

18:50 hrs IST: In the welterweight category, Pardeep Kharera beats Wanphichit Siriphana. Indian pugilists continue to dominate this evening.

18:38 hrs IST: In the evening’s first bout, India’s Asad Asif defeated Larry Abbara of Philippines. In the second bout between Kuldeep Dhanda and Sachin Bhot, Kuldeep came out on top. Dharmender Grewal then went on to beat Isaac Slade in the evening’s third bout.

18:30 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Battleground Asia event, being held in Mumbai today. The main event is the Vijender vs Zulpikar bout, but quite a few other interesting bouts to look forward to, including those involving India’s 2008 Olympics quarter-finalists Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar.

PREVIEW

Both the boxers are so far undefeated in their pro boxing career. The 31-year-old Vijender has won all his eight bouts, while the 23-year-old Zulpikar has won eight and drawn one of his nine bouts.

Barring his bout against Kerry Hope, Vijender Singh has won all his other fights via knockout, while Zulpikar has had six knockout victories. Both stand 183 cm tall, with Vijender being a southpaw and Zulpikar having an orthodox stance. A full house is expected in Mumbai for the bout, in support of Vijender Singh.

Akhil Kumar (L) will face Australia’s Ty Gilchrist in an undercard bout. (HT Photo)

On the other hand, among the undercard bouts prior to Vijender’s title fight, India’s Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar will both be in action.

Akhil Kumar, who had reached the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will face Ty Gilchrist of Australia, while Jitender Kumar will take on Thailand’s Thanet Likhitkamporn.

Quotes

“I will try to finish the bout as early as possible. But you never know with the Chinese. Chinese products are not known to last long.” -Vijender Singh

“I will show Vijender what Chinese are capable of, we have shown India time and again what China is capable of, it’s time that Vijender too learns his lesson.” - Zulpikar Maimaitiali