The unbeaten run of Indian boxer Vijender Singh in the professional circuit ended on Friday night after he was defeated by his Russian opponent Artysh Lopsan in the ‘Battle on Ship’ in Goa. The 26-year-old clinched victory by a technical knock-out in the fifth round.

Vijender, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games who had turned professional in 2015, entered the bout with a 12-0 record.

In the opening round, Vijender was cautious in his approach as the Russian outplayed the Haryana boxer and used his height to perfection. The Russian, who was fighting his seventh bout, out-punched Vijender on the rooftop of the ‘Majestic Pride Casino’ ship on the waters of the Mandovi River.

The referee, after one minute and nine seconds in the fifth round, declared the Russian as the winner as the eight-round game ended in a knockout.

In the second round, the 26-year-old Lopsan showed his class to match Vijender’s experience. He had better exchanges and made optimum use of his punches – hooks and straight punches – and tired the Haryana boxer.

The Indian continued to face stiff competition as the tall Russian managed to squeeze every ounce of his opponent’s energy. Vijender was visibly troubled and also looked tired in the next two rounds as he was continuously punched by the Russian, who was a tad better on the given day.

“My strategy worked against Vijender, he is a good fighter. I want to thank everyone who arranged this bout, it was a wonderful experience. I’m glad to become the first one to break the unbeaten record of Vijender Singh,” elated Lopsan said after the fight.

In the co-main event, seasoned campaigner and pugilist Neeraj Goyat defeated his rival Sandeep Kumar in the welterweight division by a knockout.

In the other fights of the evening, Chennai’s Sabari J out-punched Amey Kalambe 60-54 in the lightweight category. Then Haryana’s Kuldeep Dhanda suffered at the hands of Digari Mahesh from Uttarakhand in the super lightweight category.

Karthik Satish Kumar won against Jayapal Jaganadhan in the lightweight category. Dharmendra Grewal was declared as the unanimous winner against Ashish Ahalawat in the cruiserweight category.

With PTI Inputs