Indian boxing star Vijender Singh defeated Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China by a unanimous decision in a tough 10-round contest in Mumbai on Saturday to retain his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title and take over his opponent's WBO Oriental Super Middleweight crown.
The Haryana pugilist thus extended his winning streak in the professional arena to nine bouts. It was the first defeat of Zulpikar's professional career.
Known for his ability to knockout opponents, the Uighur boxer from China was undefeated in his previous nine professional bouts. He had won eight of those -- several of them by knockouts -- while one bout was undecided.
Both boxers were slightly tentative in an evenly matched opening round. Zulpikar tried to go on the offensive at the start of the second round but Vijender did well to negate his attacks. The Indian used his superior height to land several punches over the course of the round.
The next couple of rounds were evenly matched as well although the Chinese boxer found it hard to counter Vijender's height advantage.
The Indian used his superior power and height to consistently chip away at his opponent and gradually wear him down.
Zulpikar tried very hard, but found it tough to deal with Vijender's defence and counter-punches.
In his attempt to force the advantage, Zulpikar hit Vijender below the belt on a few occasions, one of which saw the contest being stopped for several seconds in the ninth round.
Zulpikar tried to force the pace in the final round in an attempt to regain lost ground, but Vijender managed to evade his attacks and hold on for the win.
With IANS inputs