Ace Indian boxer Vijender Singh suffered the first defeat in his pro-boxing career as he lost to Russian Artysh Lopsan via Technical Knockout (TKO) in the fifth round of an eight-round bout billed as ‘Battle on Ship’on the rooftop of the Majestic Pride Casino ship in Panaji, Goa, on Friday.
The Beijing 2008 bronze medallist struggled to showcase his trademark power and agility against the Russian.
The loss to Lopsan ended Vijender's 12-match unbeaten streak in professional boxing since turning pro in 2015. The Russian, meanwhile, registered the fifth win of his career.
Lopsan dominated from the word go and used his height advantage over Vijender to good effect in the first round as the Indian looked slow to get off the blocks.
Despite the setback in the first round, the sparse crowd present on the ship, continued to cheer for the local favourite. Vijender too did not disappoint his supporters as he enjoyed a better second round and connected a couple of jabs at the end of the round. The Russian, however, did not loosen his stranglehold and he kept the Haryana boxer on his backfoot with his hooks and straight punches.
Despite both boxers exchanging punches, Lopsan continued to build steam and outpunched a tired Vijender.
After one minute and nine seconds in the fifth round, the referee intervened and declared the Russian as winner, with the bout ending in a technical knockout.
In the other fights, seasoned boxer Neeraj Goyat beat Sandeep Kumar in the welterweight division by a knockout while Chennai-based Sabari J won against Amey Kalambe 60-54 in the lightweight category.
Kuldeep Dhanda from Haryana, meanwhile, lost to Digari Mahesh from Uttarakhand in the super lightweight category while Karthik Satish Kumar won against Jayapal Jaganadhan in the lightweight category. Dharmendra Grewal, on the other hand, was declared as the unanimous winner against Ashish Ahalawat in the cruiserweight category.