By Navneet Singh
Goa, March 18 (IANS) Boxing isn’t popular in Goa where football is the passion. There are only three boxing rings in the region, says local boxing coach Chitambaram Naik. But that perception could change following the big buzz about Friday’s super middleweight professional bout between India’s star boxer Vijender Singh and Artysh Lopson from Russia.
On his comeback fight after a gap of over 15 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s 35-year-old poster boy from Haryana says he believes in action more than words.
“It’s not good to pat your own back. I would like my fists to do the talking on Friday,” Singh told IANS after his official weigh-in on Thursday.
For the record, this will be Singh’s 13th bout on the pro circuit while it will be Lopsan’s sixth bout. Singh’s last bout was in Dubai in November 2019. He defeated Ghana’s Charles Adamu.
The 26-year-old Russian is considered a novice on the pro circuit as he has only six bouts under his belt. He has won four, lost one and played one draw.
The duel nicknamed ‘Battle on Ship’ will have more glamour as it is being held on the rooftop deck of the Majestic Pride Casino in the hub of India’s popular tourist destination.
Besides the main bout, there are five more undercard bouts on the programme.
In the welterweight, Neeraj Goyat will take on Sandeep Kumar while Dharmender Grewal will face Ashish Ahlawat in the cruiserweight.
Karthik Sathish Kumar will fight Jaypal Jaganadhan in the lightweight group. In the lightweight, Sabri J. will face Amery Nitin.
Digari Mahesh and Kuldeep Dhanda will battle it out in the super lightweight.
There is one bout in the women’s light flyweight between Ramandeep Kaur and Rinky Inder Kishore.
Getting a seat on the ship to watch the match live is tough as there is limited capacity – around 300. This is forcing many locals to watch the live streaming by paying Rs 99.
“Since there are limited seats on the ship, the local boxing fraternity is planning to watch live on the mobile app. So I will watch from home,” said local college going national level boxer Chandra Ppa.