IOS seeks new opponent for Vijay after Chinese backs out

NEW DELHI: Vijender Singh's management team IOS Boxing Promotions have been forced to find a new fighter for a planned April 1 title bout after the Indian star's scheduled opponent - China's Zulpikar Maimaitiali - on Friday informed them he would prefer a later date.

The Vijender-Zulpikar super middleweight contest was to be a double Asian title fight. The Indian's WBO Asia-Pacific belt and the Chinese boxer's WBO Oriental title were to be on the line in a winner-takes-all bout.

IOA Boxing Promotions' MD Neerav Tomar confirmed to IANS that the April 1 fight night, which will also mark the professional debut of Olympians Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, will go ahead but with a new opponent.

"The bout set to happen on 1st April in Mumbai has not changed. We are talking to other boxers in the same category as Vijender Singh and we will announce the opponent soon," Tomar told IANS.

Vijender is unbeaten in the circuit, having successfully defended his title in December last year against Tanzania's Francis Cheka.