- Vijender Singh of defeated Zulfikar Maimaitiali
- He won the unified WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight title
- This was his second WBO Boxing Title
Vijender Singh continued his excellent run in his professional career to win his ninth bout on Saturday after the Indian boxer defeated China’s Zulfikar Maimaitiali to retain his WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title. He also went on to claim his opponent’s WBO Oriental Super Middleweight belt at the National Sports Club of India and is yet unbeaten in his professional career. He defeated Maimaitiali in a unanimous decision on points to and won his second title in the process.
It was an enduring fight for Vijender, one that sapped his entire energy as Maimaitiali pushed him right down to the wire. A bloodied and bruised Vijender came out on top 96-93, 95-94, 95-94 in a nail-biting encounter. Zulfikar was left ruing his docked points, while Vijender’s class and grit triumphed. Vijender was labored in his movement, having already fallen to his knees in Round 9 following a blow to the mid-rift. Despite this he went to show why his reputation is growing by leaps and bounds; by Round 10, there was only one boxer showing the intent to punch and find an opening that would earn a knock-out win and that was Vijender.
“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,” said Vijender. “His aggression was terrific.”
It was a good night for India as Akhil Kumar made a perfect start to his professional career with a technical knock-out of Australia’s Ty Gilchrist in the junior welterweight category.