Just moments ago in China we saw the first of 3 titles fights from Shenzhen, as the unbeaten Chinese puncher Xiang Li (5-0, 4) clashed with Korean teenager Do Jin Lee (6-3-3) in a very interesting match up for the interim WBC Asian Boxing Council Silver and WBO China National Super Featherweight titles.
In the opening seconds Li applied pressure, and seemed to fight like a man who was confident of taking out the 18 year visitor early doors. That changed however when the boxing skills and counter punching of Lee earned the respect of the Chinese 24 year old, who didn't look comfortable with the southpaw shots of Lee.
Through the first 5 or so rounds Lee held his own, very well, with Li, countering well and pressing when he needed to. The skills of the teenager were really eye catching or such an unheralded youngster who slipped the heavier looking shots of Li.
Sadly though Lee's inexperience in fighter longer bouts appeared to show in round 6 and 7 as Li finally began to gain some notable success, landing some good headshots in the 7th round in particular. That success from the Chinese local continued in round 8, as Lee brought some pressure but was countered by Li who managed to find holes in Lee's defenses. Midway through the round the Chinese fighter finally got the big break through, landing 3 big right hands as he dropped the Korean. The referee started a count but quickly waved off the bout, giving Li the win.
Given that the Korean has gone 1-2-2 in his previous 5 this was a very credible performance and a much better outing than his clear loss to Mirai Naito in June. He showed, over 5 rounds, that he was a talented young fighter, but the distance really got to him. We'd love to see him in short bouts as there is plenty of natural talent there.
This is the second time this year that Li's boxing ability failed to shine, but his power showed and there is a real natural puncher here, but he needs some polish before stepping up in class. If he can work on his accuracy and timing, as well as his defense, he could find himself having solid success in regional bouts, though we would be very surprised if he was to ever reach world level.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
SHENZHEN, CHINA - Jing Xiang of China and Jomar Caindog of the Philippines will headline an international fight card at the Shenzhen Bao’an District Sports Center. Xiang weighed in at 104.8 lbs while Caindog was at 104.3 lbs. They will dispute the vacant WBO International minimumweight title August 17.
Xiang (16-4-2,3KO’s) will put to good use his training stint in the Philippines. Caindog (10-1-1,4KO’s),from Zamboanga del Norte and an under the radar fighter in his country, told this writer that he had the experience of sparring with former world title challenger Mark Anthony Barriga.
Xiang is on a hot streak, having beaten two former world champions back to back – Thailand’s Suriyarn Satorn and Filipino Merlito Sabillo. Early in his pro career, Xiang lost to a future IBF world champ, Jerwin Ancajas. Xiang successfully dropped in weight having previously campaigned at 112 and 108 lbs.
Xiao Tao Su (10-1, 5KO’s) of China and Shota Yukawa (11-5-3, of Japan will battle for the vacant WBO Oriental junior lightweight title. Su was at 129.8 while Yukawa stepped on the scales at 129.1. Last April, Su beat Thai Attanon Kunlawong for the IBO Oceania belt by knockout in the second round. Yukawa has won three straight since being stopped by countryman Takuya Uehara last year.
Chinese Xiang Li (4-0, 3KO’s) and South Korean Do Jin Lee (6-2-3,0KO) will be fighting for two belts – the WBC ABCO Silver super featherweight title and the vacant China National junior lightweight title. Last January in Suzhou, Li stopped Filipino Arvin Yurong in four rounds for the WBO Oriental Youth title. Li weighed 129.8 while Lee was at 129.5lbs.
For the rest of the undercards – there will be an all-Filipino undercard between China’s Yuanyuan Zhao and Ha Thi Linh of Vietnam, Zhaoxin Zhang of China vs Chase Haley of New Zealand, and an all Chinese fight between Haiyun Duan and Nan He. The fights will be supervised and officiated by the Professional Boxing Commission (PBC) of China.
Photo – Jing Xiang (left) and Jomar Caindog during the weigh-in at the City Mall in Shenzhen, China
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans saw a Japan Vs South Korea show, with 4 bouts pitting fighters from the two countries against each other. Sadly for the visitors from the Korean peninsula, it was a show to forget with all 4 visitors picking up losses.
The first bout saw Korean teenager In Soo Jang (5-2-1) [장인수] suffer an opening round stoppage loss to Japanese professional novice Suzumi Takayama (2-0, 2) [高山涼深]. Takayama took control very early on, catching the visitor coming in and dropping him after about 90 seconds. Takayama would then continue on the foot and force the referee to step in after just 2 minutes and 6 seconds.
The second bout went the distance as Mirai Naito (8-1, 3) [内藤未来] took a 6 round decision over Do Jin Lee (6-2-3) [이도진]. On paper this looked a competitive match up, but Naito proved to be far too good, shutting out the Korean on 2 of the 3 cards, whilst the third had it 58-56 to the Japanese local.
The bout that did end up being the most competitive came at Light Middleweight and saw Ran Tomomatsu (1-0) [友松藍], narrowly over-came the hard hitting Sang Geun Lee (6-1, 4) [이상근], over 6 hotly contested rounds. The Japanese debutant, a former All Japan national amateur champion, was in a war here with both men letting shots go in a fantastic back and forth. Lee, a big puncher, gave as good as he got, but just came up short against Tonomatsu, who got a baptism of fire and only just came out without being burnt. Given how Watanabe have fast tracked prospects a win here really is a sign that they will push him, and push him hard. Don't be surprised to see him in another tough bout later in the year.
The final bout pitting the two nations against each other saw Korean prospect Jeong Han Cha (5-1, 5) [차정한] will suffer his first loss, coming up short against Japanese puncher Takahiko Kobayashi (9-3, 7) [小林孝彦]. Cha was hurt in round 2 then dropped at the end of the round. Had the round gone on much longer the Korean could have been stopped there. He was hurt again in round 3, before being saved by the referee late in round 4.
Sadly this will be a show for Korean fighters to forget, whilst the Japanese will clearly have a reason to celebrate.
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