A blockbuster line-up of bouts is on the cards when the third instalment of the 10-part boxing series titled ‘Countdown to the Middle East Crown’ takes place in Dubai on Saturday night.

Eight fights are scheduled for the night at the Conrad Hotel, including three women’s bouts, but the ones that stand out is the super bantam weight WIBA world title fight between India’s Urvashi Singh and Tanzania’s Halima Vunjabei, and a lip-smacking India-Pakistan encounter.

India’s Sachin Dekwal, who holds a 10-1-0 record including six KOs, will go up against Pakistan’s Muhammad Bilal, who has a record of 9-1-1 with seven KOs, with the vacant WBC Asia continental title on the line. The bout between the two will have 10 exciting rounds.

The other bout sees Urvashi Singh, who holds a 8-3-0 record with five KOs, face-off against Halima, who has a record of 10-7-1, including six KOs.

The co-headlining bout along with the Urvashi-Halima fight is the one between Justine Darap, the WBF Asia Pacific champion and the Philippines champion, and Yelshat Nikhemttolla, the former interim WBC champion. The pair will fight for the bantam weight title.

The supporting card features the exciting Anahit Aroyan. Nicknamed ‘Arni,’ Anahit gets the gloves on and kicks off the night by taking on Thailand’s Saranyaphong Theinthong in the bantam weight 54kg category. Their fight will be followed by the super middle weight 76kg bout between Abdul Rasheed Balouch and Sri Lanka’s Niraj Wijewardana, who will be making his debut.

“We want to support local and international talent on a prestigious card such as this and the reason why we started the boxing series,’” says Dunstan Paul Rozairo, chairman of DJMC Events LLC, the promoter of the event.

“It gives boxers from any background a ‘fighting’ chance to compete in Dubai, in front of international audiences, across TV networks and on an unbiased platform. As the series progresses this year, we already have exciting boxers from the four corners who are interested to be a part of the future series — some big names I hope to announce this year, sure to draw in a crowd and excite even the non-avid boxing fans,” added Rozairo.

The face-off will take place at the Conrad Hotel on Thursday, with the weigh in set to take place on Friday. Fight night kicks off at 7 pm on Sunday.

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James Jose