Our friends in the Thai media have informed us that there are serious talks emerging about an IBF Flyweight title between current champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) and Zou Shiming (5-0, 1), two former amateur rivals who have been linked together for the last year or so.
Amnat, pictured, won the title earlier this year with a hard fought win over Rocky Fuentes. Going into that bout Amnat was a relative unknown to those who didn't follow amateur boxing or the Thai scene and even winning the title didn't really turn him into a name of note on the international stage. The bout that did help him create his name came in his first defense, when he beat Kazuto Ioka in Japan, and soon afterwards he netted another title defense as he got rid of mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo in a very tight fight.
Although a world champion at Flyweight there are doubts over how good Ruenroeng is with the Ioka result looking like a very flattering one given how Ioka has looked in a subsequent bout at Flyweight against Pablo Carrilo. It seems pretty obvious that of the main title holders at Flyweight he's the weakest overall and notably a lighter puncher than other Flyweight champions such as Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez and as a result will likely be viewed as the safest route to a title for Shiming.
As for Shiming we suspect his next bout, which comes on November 22nd against the unbeaten Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (27-0-2, 12), will tell us a lot about where he really is as a fighter.
Unlike Amnat, Shiming was cast immediately into the spot light by promoter Bob Arum who has used him as one of his central figures for shows in Macau. It seems that, for Mr Arum, Shiming is the key to opening up the relatively untapped Chinese market and taking Shiming to a world title fight in less than 10 fights would certainly be his aim given that Shiming is somewhat advanced in age at 33 years old.
Although Shiming was slated early in his career he has progressed really well and his amateur style flails have all but been eradicated and in their place we now see professional style power punches, even if Shiming does lack truly concussive power still. If he can prove he can go 12 rounds at a good pace against Kwanpichit we'd be shocked to see him fighting anyone but Amnat in his first fight of 2015. For both men it's a make or break fight and one we are hoping will confirmed very early next year, if not late this year.
(Image courtesy of Kiatkreerin)
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