Willing to return Zulpikar Maimaitiali's title, want peace between India and China: Vijender Singh after winning ninth bout
New Delhi: Vijender Singh continued to build on his brand as pro-boxer as he outslugged his Chinese opponent Zulpikar Maimaitiali in a close bout to retain the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. But after the fight, he won plenty of more hearts by wanting to return the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight title to his opponent as peace message between India and China.
It was double delight for the fans as Vijender also snatched the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight title from the Chinese, who is nine years younger to him.
After the bout Vijender addressed the crowd saying, “I didn’t expect the fight to be such. 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. “The blows disturbed me. He (Maimaitiali) has been fantastic. His aggression was terrific,” he added.
“I will give this title back to Zulpikar. This is a message for peace, to tell their people on not coming to our border. I want to dedicate this win to India-China friendship. There is some tension at the border, need peace” says Vijender after the win. So both boxers get to keep their belts after all.
"I want to give back this belt to Zulpikar. I hope for peace in the border and the message is about peace. That is most important," Vijender, an Olympic bronze medallist, said after his bout.
For weeks, India and China have been involved in a stand-off along part of their shared border.
It was the 32-year-old's ninth successive win in his professional career.
While Vijender had commented that "Chinese products don't last long" prior to his bout, Zulpikar's spirited show left him surprised.
"I was under the impression that the Chinese would not last long, but he has left me surprised with the way he fought," Vijender said.
Here's the video of the post-match celebration and the message:
It was the 32-year-old Beijing Olympic bronze medallist's ninth successive win in his professional career