In August 2017 Zulipikaer Maimaitiali (now, 11-1-1, 7) lost a controversial and close fight in India to Vijender Singh, in what was Singh's second defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. Singh would only defend the title once more, in December 2017, before it was essentially forgotten about and left on the side. Now, just over 2 years after Maimaitiali lost to Sing, he will be getting a second shot at the title, as he takes on Tanzania's Abdallah Paziwapazi (25-6-1, 22), and essentially helps to reactivate the title that has been dormant way too long.
The Chinese fighter is, like many in China, fun to watch. He's not the most skilled or the heaviest handed, but he's tough, comes to fight and does have under-rated skills. His loss to Singh ended a 9 fight winning run and was incredibly close, with a point deduction in round 6 for blows costing the Chinese fighter a majority draw. Since then he has notched up 3 wins, though spent the entire of 2018 out of the ring and has only fought once this year, way back in January.
Although no world beater the 25 year old Maimaitiali looks like a really tough out at regional level. He's not only under-rated in terms of his skills, but he's tough has a solid work rate, good size and a southpaw stance, making him awkward to look good against. There's a lack of polish and experience to him, but they can come in time, especially given his age.
We're not really sure how Paziwapazi qualifies for an Asia Pacific title, given that Tanzania is in Africa, though on paper he should be a decent test for the Chinese fighter. "Dula Mbabe", as he's known, is a 26 year old who debuted at the end of 2013 and has been active through his career with 33 bouts in less than 6 years. Not only has Paziwapazi been busy but he's also been on his travels, fighting not only in Tanzania but also in Italy, China, Germany and Russia, with this up coming bout set to be his second in China.
On paper Paziwapazi looks to be a real puncher with 22 stoppage wins in his 25 total victories, in reality however his best wins are against Francis Cheka and Andrey Kalyuzhnyy, who he actually beat in China back in 2016. His power certainly seems like it's not as impressive as his record suggests, though it is worth noting that he's proven to be fairly tough, with just a single stoppage loss which came in 2016 to fringe contender Umar Salamov.
For this bout we're expecting to see Maimaitiali really ease himself into the bout to begin with, shaking off some ring rust, before taking the fight to the Tanzanian. For Paziwapazi the key will be to start fast, try and surprise Maimaitiali in the early rounds, though we don't believe his power is devastating as his record suggests. Instead we see him trying to start fast, before the Chinese fighter turn the tables.
Prediction - TKO9 Maimaitiali
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.