Vijender Singh wins over the fans with heartwarming statement after win over Zulpikar Maimaitiali
What's the story?
Vijender Singh defeated Chinese opponent Zulpika Maimaitiali in a closely fought bout which ended with a final score of 96-94, 95-94, 95-94. The result saw him maintain his unbeaten record and also hold the dual title of WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Champion. After winning the bout, Vijender addressed the crowds gathered at the NSCI in Mumbai and made a noble statement declaring his desire for peace between the countries of India and China.
In case you didn't know...
Vijender Singh faced off against Zulpikar Maimaitiali for a dual belt fight at Battleground Asia where the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental titles were on the line.
The bout had attracted even more attention due to the ongoing tensions between the two neighbours and the troop standoff at Doklam. Tensions have been rising between the two countries ever since Indian troops blocked their Chinese counterparts from building a road which would lead all the way to the Indian border with Bhutan.
The heart of the matter
Vijender Singh won the closely contested fight no thanks to the negative points the southpaw received for his illegal punches. Wearing a Chinese cap given to him by his 23-year old opponent, Vijender said that he was ready to give the belt back to his opponent. He added, "I want to dedicate this win to India-China friendship! There is some tension at the border, need peace!"
The gesture was also reciprocated by his opponent who gave him a traditional Chinese cap which Vijender sportingly wore while being announced champion.
The 31-year old Indian pugilist is the Oriental and Asia Pacific champion after his win against Zulpikar. As to what lies next for Vijender; a number of boxers have been calling out the 31-year old, who before the fight was the 10th best fighter in the world as per WBO rankings.
A bout with British boxer of Pakistani origin, Amir Khan has long been speculated while Indian origin Australian boxer, Pradeep Singh Suhag has also been repeatedly calling out Vijender on social media.
The gestures made by both sportsmen on such a stage showed that sport does indeed transcend boundaries. India and China may be at loggerheads but that is no reason for both representatives to not propagate ideas of peace. Hopefully, this gesture goes a long way in cooling the hostilities between the nations on the borders.