That's it, its all over, Vijender Singh has won! It was a very close battle - 96-93, 95-94, 95-94 - these are the three judges scores! Vijender is now the WBO Middleweight Champion as well as the WBO Oriental Super Middle-Weight Championship! Superb boxing from the Indian, but commisserations to the Chinese, who fought his heart out there!
The 31-year-old former Olympic bronze-medallist will be fighting his ninth professional fight tomorrow and on the line would be his WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title.
Vijender Singh clearly on the defense there, he is trying to kill time by roaming around the ring, Zulfikar clearly on the attack for now. He will be hoping the judges come to his rescue, let's see which way this one goes! Remember Zulfikar has a point deduction for low blow! Both the boxers raising their hands, lets see which way this one goes!
Zulfikar with what looked like another low blow! Almost catching the Indian out of breath, Zulfikar has really pressed on the pedal here. He is sensing an opportunity of a knockout here, blood also pouring out of Vijender's nose. But remember Zulfikar has already had a 1 point deducted for low blows, we are now entering the final round!
Zulpikar loses the point there for another low blow, he was already warned twice. This might come back to haunt the Chinese if this is a close fight! But both boxers going for it now, from a strategic fight, this is slowly turning into a street fight! The crowd is also getting into it, supporting the Indians.
One of Zulpikar's punch seems to have connected Vijender just below the eye, as it appears a bit swollen. Zulpikar also upping the ante in this round, both boxers going for it. Zulpikar does have a natural advantage as a southpaw which Vijender will have to counter. Zulpikar also receiving another warning there, he will have to be careful now going ahead! Vijender just edging this fight so far.
The judges have decided it in favour of Neeraj Goyat, so he takes this by unanimous decison and he retains the WBC Asia Welterwight Title! 119-108, 119,108 and 118-110 were the final scores from the judges. The Philipino seems to be a tad disappointed and you can understand why. The end of this bout means we are just minutes away from the start of the main event for tonight! It will be Vijender Singh in action up next!
Mumbai: Indian boxing and WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight champion Vijender Singh, right, & WBO Oriental Super Middleweight champion China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali, left, pose for the media during the official weigh-in and face-off in Mumbai, India, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. (Image: AP)
Maimaitiali's WBO Oriental super middleweight title would also be up for grabs in the double title fight.
Vijender has been training in Manchester with his trainer Lee Beard for this bout, the first ticket of which was presented to cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar at the latter's house by the boxer himself.
A confident Vijender has dubbed his Chinese opponent as inexperienced.
"This is India versus China, I don't need anything and I am excited, I know the whole of India is with me," Vijender said at the weigh-in on Saturday.
"I am very confident and hope that the fight will be good and India will win. last night I checked my weight it was 78 and I had to be 76.2, so I did not eat anything. My weight is 76.00 today, I will very much focus on diet," he told reporters here today.
The Indian said his strategy would be responsive to how his opponent maneuvers the bout.
"My strategy will depend on how he plays, I will set my game according to him. We have changed a lot in technique and we have worked on it," he said.
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