India's professional boxing star Vijender Singh will fight Russia's Artysh Lopsan in his return to the ring after over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vijender and Losan will square off on March 19 in a super middle-weight (76kg) showdown on the rooftop deck of the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Panaji, Goa.
"It wasn't the easiest year and initially it took a while for the body to respond. But the last two months have been fabulous for me. Jai Bhagwan (2010 Commonwealth Games bronze-medalist) helped me with my training here in Gurgaon," Vijender told PTI .
The 26-year-old Losan has fought six pro bouts, claiming four victories in the process. His last contest was in December 2020 against compatriot Yusup Magomedbekov, which he won via Technical Knockout.
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Vijender, on the other hand, is unbeaten in his professional career. His record of 12-0 includes eight knockouts. The 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze-medalist defeated Ghana's former Commonwealth champion Charles Adamu in Dubai to claim his 12th successive win in November 2019.
"Lee Beard couldn't be here because of coronavirus restrictions but he has been supportive and has been available online whenever I needed advice. Jai, you can say, is my coach right now," Vijender said.
Manchester-based British trainer Lee has been Vijender's coach ever since he took the professional plunge in 2015. Jai is a serving police officer in Haryana and has taken leave to assist Vijender. He is a two-time Asian Championship bronze-winner and has competed alongside Vijender in several international and national amateur events.
Also, seasoned Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat will take on Sandeep Kumar (Super Welterweight) during the same fight night. There will be six other under-card fights as well.
"It is going to be a big fight in Goa. Vijender has the experience and unbeaten streak while Lopsan also has a good record under his belt. I'm expecting a really good fight between the two and fans will be able to witness something incredible," added IOS Boxing Promotions' Neerav Tomar.
Owing to social distancing guidelines, only 50 per cent of the general tickets and a limited 150 high-end tickets have been put on sale.