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Meet China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali, Vijender Singh's next opponent eager to show what he is capable of

As India's Vijender Singh looks to end another match through a quick knock-out, in his much-awaited clash with Zulpikar Maimaitiali – dubbed as 'Battleground Asia' – there still remains an aura of mystery in the Indian subcontinent around his opponent.

Zulpikar is not the kid that Vijender makes him out to be. Hailing from the town of Urumqi in China, Zulpikar is already his country's No 1 boxer at just the age of 23. And technically, Zulpikar has a bit more experience than Vijender — having already taken part in nine bouts — one more than Vijender's eight.

WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight champion Vijender Singh and his competitor WBO Oriental Super Middleweight champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali. AFP

WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight champion Vijender Singh and his competitor WBO Oriental Super Middleweight champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali. AFP

Zulpikar, the current WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion, who made his debut in 2015 against Yodkhunsuk Mor Poowana, hasn't been bothered by the comments of his much-fancied opponent. Replying to Vijender's recent jibe "Chinese products are not known to last long," the undefeated Chinese boxer said. "I will show Vijender what the Chinese are capable of, we have shown India time and again what China is capable of, it's time that Vijender too learns his lesson," he added.

The dual to be played at the NSCI Stadium in Worli, is a winner-takes all match, with both WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight championship and WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Championship on the line.

While Vijender has acquired a reputation of ending games in knock-outs, Zulpikar himself has five knockout wins to his credit so far. While the rankings point to an advantage for Vijender, the comments by the former Olympic medallist have surely made the Chinese a lot more hungry for the win.

“My team has watched all his bouts. At this phase, maybe only I and my coach should understand the training schedule that have been implemented. Vijender will be surprised when I throw punches at him, he thinks I am a kid, but he has no idea who I am.

"I will show what this kid is made off. I hope they (India) won’t feel bad when their favourite boxer is getting beaten up by me.”

The Southpaw last played against Thomas Mashali in July last year, after which he became the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion. Zulpikar won the game via a technical knockout.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 03, 2017 18:57 PM

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