Was Vijender Singh's bout against China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali fixed? Twitter seems to think so
Indian boxing sensation Vijender Singh recorded his ninth professional boxing victory on Saturday as he defeated Chinese pugilist Zulpikar Maimaitiali in Mumbai after 10 grueling rounds of high-octane boxing. It was a double title fight with Vijender's WBO Asia-Pacific Super middleweight belt on the line along with Maimaitiali's WBO Oriental Super middleweight title.
At the end of the action, it was the Indian who went home with both as he won by unanimous decision but only by the slimmest of margins. At the start, both fighters traded blows and the fight was really too close to call but towards the final rounds, it was the Chinese southpaw who looked like the dominant boxer as Vijender staggered around the ring, hoping to somehow avoid the big hooks coming his way.
In the end though, the Indian was declared the winner with the final scoreline reading 96-93, 95-94, 95-94, indicating the fine margins in which the bout was fought. Vijender looked like he was overpowered in the penultimate round and was left with a bleeding nose, but the judges felt that he had done enough in the early rounds to establish a clear lead, with Maimaitiali also receiving a deduction for landing multiple low blows on his opponent.
Many viewers and fans on social media questioned the legitimacy of Vijender's win, especially after the way he looked battered in the last two rounds. However, his coach Lee Beard spoke to the organizers after the bout and explained that his ward deserved to win and would have won even if Maimaitiali would not have received negative points.
Beard praised the 31-year-old for his abilities in the ring and said, "The first couple of rounds went well, post which Vijender started to land it even cleaner!" He added, "Vijender was a smart fighter and knew how to handle himself in the ring."
However, people on Twitter were still not convinced and blasted the organizers for the result of this fight. Here are some of the reactions: