Earlier this year we saw China's exciting, but limited, Qiu Xiao Jun (21-3, 10) [裘晓君] fight in his first wold title bout, losing by stoppage to Venezuelan veteran Nehomar Cermeno. Today the "Dragon" returned to the ring, for his first bout since that loss, and looked like a much improved fighter as he dismantled over-matched Filipino Robert Udtohan (23-2-3, 15) in the main event event of a card in Thailand.
From the opening round Jun looked hungry to prove himself and never looked like a fighter doubting himself. He quickly established his dominance in the contest, backing Udtohan up at will and in round 3 found a home for his right hand, landing it so frequently that it seemed obvious the end was neigh.
After a barrage of shots Udtohan eventually went down and failed to recover giving Jun a straight forward 3rd round win, and one that will clearly boost his confidence following the loss to Cermeno.
Incidentally Jun's bout actually played live on Chinese TV and was above the card despite the fact that Jun's conqueror Nehomar Cermeno (25-5-1-1, 15) defended the WBA Super Bantamweight title on the same show, stopping Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-1, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร] in 3 rounds.
On the same show we saw 3 other bouts, all streamed online. One of these saw Can Xu (10-2) [徐灿] score a decision win over the very spirited Ramiro Blanco (14-1-3, 7), with Blanco pushing the action through out but never hitting with the force needed to hurt Xu, who retained his WBA International Super Featherweight title. Despite failing to make weight Blanco showed great stamina and he would make for an interesting opponent for other prospects in and around the Lightweight division.
Another saw Zhilei Zhang (12-0, 8) stop the hilarious bad Georgian Gogita Gorgiladze (32-14, 27) in about 70 seconds. The Georgian, who suffered a 7th stoppage loss, was down in the first 30 seconds or so and never looked comfortable afterwards with "Big Bang" hardly breaking sweat. It should be noted that the visitor is a natural Cruiserweight and was giving away close to 40lbs at the weigh in and it does leave us wondering if that was supposed to be merely a showcase for Zhang.
A much more interesting China Vs Georgia bout saw Fanlong Meng (9-0, 6) getting the rub of the green to over-come the very hungry Zura Mekereshvili (18-6, 14). Meng was down in the opening round and again in round 4 as Mekereshvili put him under immense pressure from the opening moments to the final bell. The Chinese fighter, who was 1' taller than his opponent, could never establish distance and had to put up with the Georgian forcing him back through out. Had this been outside of China we genuinely think Meng would have suffered his first defeat.
The Chinese boxing scene is an interesting one with a lot of potential, most of which is untapped, and a TV channel with a reach far wider than any in the US, UK or Mexico. Sadly the TV channel that carries much of the boxing in China is the rather frustrating CCTV5 which is sure to frustrate fans tomorrow with what appears to be a split-timed broadcast.
The broadcast, or rather the first part of it, will be aired between between 17:00 and 18:00 local time, with no real details about who is going to be featured on that portion of the card. We then take a 4 hour break before returning at 22:00 local time for one hour, according to the schedule on TV Mao.
With just 5 bouts schedule for the card and only 2 time slots of one hour each it'll be interesting to see how CCTV5 air the show, with the likely idea being that they will have a lot of things going on at the venue between bouts. Likely allowing us to watch the WBA Super Bantamweight title bout between Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) and Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร] and one other bout.
Interestingly http://sports.le.com/ seem to be suggesting that they will be streaming the card from 19:30 local time, adding further confusion to those wanting to watch the show.
It's a confusing situation but it's almost certain that all the footage from the show will hit the internet not too long after the shot it's self.
Tomorrow fight fans in China will be able to see a WBA Super Bantamweight world title fight, as defending champion Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) faces unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร]. Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both made the 122lb weight limit with no real issue.
On the scales the champion was the heavier man, coming in just under the limit and despite looking relatively old for a fighter there was little sign to suggest he was pushing his body to make the limit and it looked like he had weight to lose, if he wished to lose it.
Nop on the other hand was well under the limit, coming in around 120¾lbs, and it looked almost as if he could get down to Bantamweight if he wished to really push his body. Although making weight with ease the Thai didn't look like a fighter who had drained himself too much or over-trained.
Notably money has gone on Cermeno over-night dropping him from 4/9 to 2/5 with Nop, listed on betting sites by his birth name of Anurak Thisa, is 15/8 having been 7/4 yesterday. The draw is now 22/1 having been 20/1
Nop looks to announce himself on world stage as he takes on Cermeno
Nop Kratingdaenggym the under-dog against Nehomar Cermeno
This coming Friday fans in China will get the chance to see a WBA Super Bantamweight title fight between Venezuelan veteran Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) and unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร]. On paper the bout looks like an intriguing bout between unbeaten hopeful and veteran champion and should see both fighters being asked serious questions here in what could help change the face of the Super Bantamweight division going into 2017, and lets be honest even the winner will have a big bullseye on their back for some of the divisional contenders.
Coming into the bout the 36 year old champion, who is defending the title for the first time, is the betting favourite with the bookmakers pricing him at 4/9 to win the bout and retain his title. A win for Cermeno would see fighters target him next year, with his 37th birthday coming up before the end of the year, though he is certainly the more experienced and more proven man here and despite his age he still knows more than most other fighters in the division, even if he lacks the athleticism of some other fighters in the division.
Nop, listed by his birth name of Anurak Thisa, is stepping up from PABA level to world title level but the 25 year old is confident and is showing real self belief coming into this one. The Thai is priced as the under-dog, but a very live one at 7/4, and could well be worth a bet with some thinking the Thai could have a lot of potential and wouldn't have taken this bout if his team were sure of his ability. Given his youth and unbeaten record he'll be fancying his chances and could well have too much youthfulness for the champion.
For those thinking the two are well matched and very even, the draw is priced at 20/1.
Nop looks to announce himself on world stage as he takes on Cermeno
Money for boxing in Thailand has often been a problem, with the promoters not having the deep pockets of Western promoters or those in nearby Japan. That was notably seen earlier this year with frustrating TV issues that forced a delay in the second bout between Stamp Kiatniwat and Gregorio Lebron, following the promoters inability to pay for the TV time on time. It's become a problem again this week with the Thai promoter unable to meet the asking price to air the WBA Super Bantamweight title fight between Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) and unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร].
Earlier in the week the Thai promoter behind Nop had come out and seemed to suggest terms had been agreed for Channel 3SD in Thailand to air the bout live. Now however he has shared his frustration at being asked by the show's organisers to pay ฿1,600,000 to have the bout aired and has admitted it is out of their reach financially.
Although not admitting the bout won't be aired live in Thailand the same promoter has stated that if Nop wins they will pay for the bout to be broadcast on tape delay. It's a compromise but a frustrating one for Thai fight fans who will likely need to find a foreign stream to watch the fight live and cheer on their countryman
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