Mumbai: IOS Boxing promotions on Tuesday announced Asia’s Biggest showdown between India and China on August 5, 2017 at NSCI Dome, Mumbai. The mega fight of Asia will see WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, Vijender Singh take on China’s number 1 boxer and WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitali for a double title fight. In this fight both the boxer, will put their respective WBO titles at stake whoever wins the bout takes home his defended title along with his opponent’s title. This fight between two top boxers of Asian subcontinent will decide the ‘King of Asia’. The announcement was made during a press conference held at Hotel Sea Princess, Juhu, Mumbai.
After a long gap of nine years, India’s finest boxers knockout king Vijender Singh, Olympic Quarterfinalists Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar will be seen in the ring together. This will be a great opportunity for the boxing fans to see three of their favourite stars in the pro circuit.
The tickets for ‘Battleground Asia’ will be priced from Rs. 1200/- to Rs. 12,000 and will go live from 1st July on www.bookmyshow.com
The first ticket of the fight night was presented to the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar by the Indian boxing sensation Vijender Singh at his residence in Mumbai. On receiving first ticket from Vijender Singh for his Mumbai fight, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar said "It was extremely thoughtful of Vijender to come and present me the first ticket and I hope he continues his winning streak. I would like to wish him all the very best as he is doing an excellent job of being India’s flag bearer in the world of pro-boxing"
China’s undefeated star boxer has 8 bouts under his name, same as India’s boxing sensation Vijender Singh. Zulpikar Maimaitiali has 5 knock outs wins, and has fought 24 rounds. His last bout was with African boxer Thomas Mashali where he won his current title WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion last year. Zulpikar turned towards professional boxing in April 2015.
Vijender Singh who remained unbeaten since his debut in professional boxing has fought 8 bouts last one being against former World Number 1 boxer Francis Cheka from Tanzania, where he defended his title. Vijender clinched on to his first title, in July 2016, against Kerry Hope of Australia, becoming the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion. In total Vijender has fought 8 bouts with 7 of them being won by Knock-out. He has 30 rounds under his belt, which gives him a slight edge over his opponent, who has fought 24 rounds till now.
Vijender Singh expressed himself saying, “This one is going to be an exciting fight night, not only is my title at stake but I will also be fighting for another title. I am very passionate about boxing and I have an aim of winning a certain number of titles, which I will complete at any cost. I have been training hard with Lee for almost 3 months and with every passing day my confidence has increased. There has been constant betterment in my strength and training.”
Speaking on the warning given by the Chinese boxer, Vijender said “I am not scared by all these things, these words are only mind games, you have seen people like him have challenged me earlier also, and the result is in front of you. My title is not going anywhere, in fact on the 5th August I will be wearing two belts.”
Vijender has been training hard in Manchester under his globally acclaimed champion trainer Lee Beard from the past 3 months. Speaking on the occasion, Vijender’s trainer Lee Beard said, “Vijender has been working hard for 3 months now, his stamina has improved much more. Zulpikar is a southpaw and will be a tough nut to crack but I am confident with the kind of hard work Vijender is putting in, he will know how to tackle Zulpikar in the ring. We are looking forward to this fight.”
Speaking on putting together the biggest boxing show in India till date Neerav Tomar, Promoter, IOS Boxing Promotions said, “This is going to be Vijender’s toughest challenge till date. This showdown of Asia will see one boxer emerge as the ultimate ‘King of Asia’ with two title belts attached to his name. It will be a star-studded night stars from Bollywood, sports, industrialist, music and politics will witness ‘Battleground Asia’. We are confident of putting up a great show for the city of Mumbai and boxing fans all over the world will be enthralled by the magnitude of this fight night.”
‘Battleground Asia’, will also feature star boxers promoted by IOS Boxing Promotions, Akhil Kumar former Olympic Quarterfinalist and Commonwealth Gold medalist will make his debut with a 4 round contest, in an undercard fight. This will be Akhil’s first professional bout since the time he has been granted permission to turn to pro-boxing.
Commonwealth Games 2006 Gold medalist and Beijing Olympics Quarterfinalist boxer Akhil Kumar, who spearheaded the Indian boxing contingent at numerous international tournaments for years, including World Cup (2008) where he won a bronze medal, Commonwealth Federation Boxing Championship (2005) where he grabbed another gold medal and Asian Championship is all set to begin his professional-boxing journey with IOS Boxing Promotions. The most experienced boxer has represented country in nearly 250 bouts during his amateur career.
Speaking on his debut Akhil Kumar said, “I am very thrilled to begin this new phase of my boxing career, now I am all set to put in the same amount of energy and hard work into professional boxing as I did in amateur boxing. Pro-boxing is different in many ways, more stamina and strength is needed to go through rounds of 8-10. I have been training for last 6 months and feel confident of entering the ring as a pro-boxer.”
Olympian Jitender Kumar is another big name of Indian boxing who has signed up with IOS Boxing Promotions a multi-year pro agreement. The 28-year old Bhiwani boxer who won bronze medal in Commonwealth Games 2006 is currently serving as deputy superintendent in Haryana Police. His achievements range from grabbing a bronze medal in the World Cup 2009, to another bronze in the Asian Championship 2007. Speaking on making his debut, Jitender Kumar said, “I am eagerly waiting to start this exciting journey as a pro boxer. I have been training for a couple of months now and I am ready to put up a fight against my opponent. I am confident of my training sessions and my strength and I am sure I will do a wonderful job in my first bout.”
Another boxer to feature in ‘Battleground Asia’ is WBC Asia Welterweight Champion Neeraj Goyat. The 26-year-old boxer from Haryana made his professional debut in 2011 against Gou Wen Dong in China. He has fought 12 bouts with an experience of 71 rounds under his belt and claimed 8 wins, with 2 Knockouts. The Indian is currently placed 35th in the WBC list which was updated after his victory over Australian Ben Kite, who he defeated to retain his title. In 2016, he had won bronze medal in the AIBA Pro Boxing Olympic qualifier.
The other boxers that will feature in ‘Battleground Asia’ are Pardeep Kharera, Kuldeep Dhanda, and Dharmender Grewal.
1. The 21- year old Pardeep Kharera comes from a small district in Haryana. Pardeep turned pro last year in February, till date he has 3 bouts with 11 rounds under his belt. He has had a good amateur boxing record with clinching 3 gold medals in national and international level boxing championships.
2. Dharmender Grewal who turned towards professional boxer in April last year, has won 2 bouts since his debut, with one resulting in a Knockout win. He also holds an exciting record in the amateur boxing world with two silver and two gold medals in the domestic competitions.
3. Haryana boy Kuldeep Dhanda, 27, who turned professional in April last year in the light weight category made a good start in his career winning 3 out of 3 bouts. In his amateur career, he has grabbed 4 gold medals in state level championships.