Star In­dian boxer of­fers to trade ti­tle for peace with China

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - In­dian boxer Vijender Singh has of­fered to re­turn the cham­pi­onship belt he won in this week­end’s ti­tle fight over his Chi­nese ri­val in a nod to diplo­macy amid a tense bor­der stand­off be­tween New Delhi and Bei­jing.

The Olympic-bronze medal­list ex­tended the olive branch to Zulpikar Maimaitiali af­ter de­feat­ing the Chi­nese champ in the much-an­tic­i­pated dou­ble-ti­tle pro bout in Mum­bai on Sat­ur­day.

The win saw the 31 year old In­dian pugilist re­tain not just his WBO Asia Pa­cific su­per mid­dleweight ti­tle but snatch the su­per mid­dleweight belt from his Chi­nese op­po­nent.

But the newly-crowned champ buried the hatchet af­ter the fight, ded­i­cat­ing his vic­tory to the ‘In­dia-China friend­ship’ and call­ing for an end to the dis­trust that has flared up over a bor­der dis­agree­ment.

‘I want to give back this belt to Zulpikar. I hope for peace in the bor­der and the mes­sage is about peace. That is most im­por­tant’, Singh was quoted as say­ing by the Press Trust of In­dia.

In­dian and Chi­nese troops have been locked in a stand­off at a re­mote but strate­gi­cally im­por­tant Hi­malayan plateau near where Ti­bet, In­dia and Bhutan meet. The plateau gives China ac­cess to the so-called ‘chicken neck’ - a thin strip of land that con­nects In­dia’s north­east with the rest of the coun­try.

The row has fes­tered for more than a month as In­dia and China refuse to back down in the dis­tant but key ter­ri­tory.

Mis­trust be­tween the gi­ant neigh­bours goes back cen­turies with the pair hav­ing fought a brief war in 1962 in In­dia’s bor­der state of Arunachal Pradesh.

(AFP)

WBO Asia-Pa­cific su­per mid­dleweight cham­pion Vijender Singh cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the dou­ble ti­tle bout against China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali, in Mum­bai on Sat­ur­day

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