Up against a Chinese, Vijender feels a sense of responsibility

In the backdrop of the Indo-Chinese border conflict, Vijender Singh is determined like a rock to best his Chinese opponent in his double title fight in Mumbai on August 5.

In the last phase of his training in Manchester, Vijender, who wears his love for the Tricolour on his sleeve, said his date with Zulpikar Maimaitiali had to be an important fight in his short career in professional boxing.   -  AFP

 

In the backdrop of the Indo-Chinese border conflict, Vijender Singh is determined like a rock to best his Chinese opponent in his double title fight in Mumbai on August 5.

In the last phase of his training in Manchester, Vijender, who wears his love for the Tricolour on his sleeve, said his date with Zulpikar Maimaitiali had to be an important fight in his short career in professional boxing.

“Any fight for any title is important. This one is also important. It is an India versus China fight. Everyday you see something or the other on the social media. It is more of a responsibility for me to do well in this fight. I have to win this anyhow and show that India is better than China,” Vijender told Sportstar from Manchester on Thursday.

Thirty-one-year-old Vijender, who has remained undefeated in his eight fights so far, has experienced a dream run since getting into professional boxing in October 2015. He won the WBO Asia Pacfic super middleweight title by defeating Australian Kerry Hope in September last year and defended it by beating Tanzanian Francis Cheka in December.

In order to face the 22-year-old Maimaitiali, who has put his WBO Oriental title at stake and has remained undefeated in seven bouts, Vijender has adopted some special training. “My opponent is a southpaw. I am training as per the requirement, choosing my sparring partners accordingly. I am also working on a few techniques.”

Under the watchful eyes of his trainer Lee Beard, Vijender, a World and Olympic medallist, is getting ready for a gruelling 10-round bout. “My Asia Pacific title bout and its defence were 10-round fights. So, I have the experience of that. We started off with eight to 10 rounds in training and then increased it to 10-12 rounds and 12-14 rounds. We are reaching a good level.”

Looking ahead, Vijender said he would like to step up and progress to the next level in professional boxing. “I take one fight at a time. But I want to climb the ladder and feature in a World title fight two years down the line,” said Vijender, who would return to the country by the month end ahead of his double title fight.

Sony to telecast bout live

Sony Pictures Sports Network will telecast the bout between Vijender and Zulpikar. The telecast of the fight, labelled Battleground Asia and featuring the Indian sensation and his Chinese rival, will be shown at 6.30pm live and exclusive on on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD (English), Sony Ten 3), Sony Ten 3 HD (Hindi). Viewers can also follow the fight, to be held at NSCI indoor stadium, streamed live on SonyLIV App or website.