India’s star professional boxer Vijender Singh will be making his return to the ring against Russia’s Artysh Lopsan, in a super middleweight (76kg) clash, atop the roof deck of on March 19. Vijender, who has an unbeaten record of 12-0, including eight knockouts, will square off against the 26-year-old 6ft 3inch Russian, who has won four of his six pro bouts with one draw, on loss and two knockout victories. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist turned professional in 2015 and was last seen in action in November 2019 when he defeated Ghana’s Charles Adamu to keep his unbeaten record of 12-0 intact, including eight knockout wins.
Vijender feels it will be a tough fight for him against the Russian Lopsan, especially with him getting back in the ring after a long gap. “It’s going to be a good fight. I was eagerly waiting for more than a year. I watched Lopsan’s videos and he’s a good fighter. But I’m ready to knock him out like I did to my eight previous opponents. I am ready to finish the fight in the early rounds and it would be a spectacle to do it in front of my people in Goa,” Vijender said.
“He won’t have the kind of experience I have. And I don’t think he is that strong. His reach may be more but I am sure his punches will have that much power. I will go for a close fight and see if he has power in the first round,” he said.
“I have been practising with younger sparring partners,” Vijender added.
Lopsan’s last fight was as recent as 22 December 2020, the last of 3 bouts he had since the coronavirus pandemic, which were all staged in Russia, of which he won 2 wins and lost one – against ‘strong guy’ who is a regular in the international arena.
Lopsan though has his eyes set on The Indian’s unbeaten streak and wants to be the one to end it. “Vijender is a good fighter but I’m here to end his unbeaten streak. I’m ready and it’s going to be a great fight in Goa. What better way to end his streak than knocking him down in front of his audience. I’ve trained hard for this fight and I’m rearing to go.”
Lopsan’s last fight was as recent as 22 December 2020, against compatriot Yusup Magomedbekov, which he won via Technical Knockout. In fact, the last of 3 bouts he had since the coronavirus pandemic, were all staged in Russia, of which he won 2 wins and lost one – against ‘strong guy’ who is a regular in the international arena.
“We are not underestimating him for we are ready to fight,” said Lopsan’scoach Andrei.
The first-of-a-kind fight in India will be held on the rooftop deck of the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Goa and will also feature six undercarriage bouts involving 12 Indians.
The night will begin with a bantamweight bout between Mohammed Shamim and Pralhad Panda, followed by Matgiyalagan Dhiravidamani against Umesh Charan in a Superweight division class. Ramandeep Kaur and Rinky Inder Kishore will face off in a light flyweight category fight, followed by a cruiserweight fight between Ashish Ahlawat and Dharmender Grewal.
Sarabi J and Amey Nitin will fight in a lightweight contest and Mahesh Digari will go up against Kuldeep Dhanda in a super lightweight bout. Neeraj Goyat will face-off against Sandeep Kumar in a Super Welterweight fight that will co-main event the night.