Vijender banking on age and experience
By Deepti Patwardhan | Express News Service | Published: 03rd August 2017 08:24 AM |
MUMBAI: Having irked his upcoming rival with a ‘Chinese products don’t last long’ jibe, Vijender Singh, dismissed Zulpikar Maimaitiali as young and inexperienced during an event in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“I don’t think he poses any challenge,” the Indian boxer said, ahead of the bout against Maimaitiali which will take place in Mumbai on August 5.
“I don’t consider him an experienced boxer. He has only been in eight fights. He’s young (23) and a strong kid, that is true. He’s younger than me and that’s a drawback for him because he makes mistakes in his rush to finish bouts quickly. He will try to dominate from the start and hurry into things. That’s the time I will be calm and composed.”
It was clear that Vijender, who held a light practice session in front of an adoring audience in a gym on Wednesday, is keyed up for his first fight in Mumbai. But his opponent is not as much of a green horn as Vijender would like you to believe. Maimaitiali is eight years younger than the Indian, but he started out on the professional circuit a few months before Vijender and has taken part in nine bouts — though his last opponent retired. Holder of the WBO Oriental super middle weight title, he is unbeaten (one draw) and has won five bouts through a technical knock-out.
“If he’s going to fight aggressively then I will react accordingly,” said Vijender of his left-handed opponent. “It’s good if you can get a knockout early, but I’m ready to go all 10 rounds. I’m not like Muhammad Ali to announce how soon I will knock out my opponent before a fight.”
There is the added edge to this bout touted as ‘Battleground Asia’. The political situation has worsened between India and China with the military standoff in Doklam. “The Indian public is aware of the situation,” said Vijender. “There is a lot of responsibility on me, because it’s India-China and the situation is bad. I do meditation to stay calm and make sure that I don’t get carried away. Just focus on what you are doing. You’re a boxer, just do your job,” he added.