Heat is on as Vijender Singh gears up for homework

For Vijender Singh, there are more pressing matters right now than fighting an opponent he doesn’t know much about.

Published: 20th June 2017 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2017 03:16 PM   |  A+A-

WBO Asia Pacific champion Vijender Singh | AFP

Express News Service

CHENNAI: For Vijender Singh in faraway Manchester, there are more pressing matters right now than fighting an opponent he doesn’t know much about. On a day when his promoters announced his next opponent from China, Asia Pacific super middleweight title-holder Vijender was trying hard to keep himself cool, physically. “It’s getting hot here and the apartments here usually don’t have air conditioners or fans like India,” says Vijender. “So I had to buy a fan to keep myself cool.”

It’s almost been two years since Vijender turned pro and now finally he is making his foray into Mumbai — the city he considers his home. In the land of entertainment, Singh will aspire to be king of Asia and the Orient when he faces China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali, who was scheduled to fight him last August. It will be a great opportunity for the fighter to promote the sport in Mumbai. “We want to take the sport to every corner of the country,” says Vijender. “We are going to Mumbai now and then we will move to another city, maybe even Chennai. It has to be a pan-India sport promotion.”

Though the 31-year-old boxer doesn’t know much about the Chinese boxer, he is not frazzled. “I have beaten a lot of Chinese boxers during my amateur days and I know how they play. I’m not bothered about him much,” he says. Yes, he does know a bit about him.

“I know he is a southpaw. I had discussions with my training staff. That’s it. We will gather more information about him and then continue my training.”

Vijender is currently training with the same trainers in Manchester. Though he terminated his contract with Queensbury Promotions, he has continued to train with Lee Beard. “I have the same trainers here,” he says. “I should be in Mumbai next week for the official announcement.”

Vijender’s promoter IOS Boxing Promotions revealed that they have held positive talks regarding the fight with SECA Worldwide, Zulpikar’s promoters. “We are just ironing out terms and conditions for the boxers. But we are still one or two steps away from formulating and getting title sanctions from World Boxing Organization. That should happen within this weekend,” Neerav Tomar, IOS Boxing Promotions CEO & Managing Director, said.

A quick glance at Zulpikar’s track record reveals a pretty picture. With nine bouts (27 rounds) under his belt, the 22-year-old has eight wins with six KOs. Vijender’s record is a shade better with seven KOs in his eight bouts so far.If the proposed fight happens, both titles will be up for grabs.

indraneel.das@newindianexpress.com

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