By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
SHENZHEN, CHINA- Jing Xiang exploited his size advantage over Jomar Caindog and came up on top in their battle for the vacant WBO International minimumweight title.
Xiang, from China, built his lead using his jab and quick combos in a fast paced contest. Caindog, from the Philippines, tried to close the gap and was still in the fight due to his aggression. But Xiang knew he could take Caindog’s punches and showboated as the rounds progressed. In the eighth round, an accidental clash of heads inflicted a long deep gash below the right eyebrow of Xiang which lead to the fight being halted. It went to the scorecards for a technical decision.
The judges scores – Mark Leong (Macao) and Edward Ligas (Philippines) had it 77-75 while Surat Soikrachang (Thailand) scored 79-73, all for Xiang.
Xiang successfully went down in weight after having previously campaigned at 112 and 108 lbs. He had previously beaten two former world champions back to back – Thailand’s Suriyan Satorn and Filipino Merlito Sabillo.
Xiang goes up to 17-4-2,3KO’s while Caindog drops to his second loss - 10-2-1,4KO’s.
Xiao Tao Su of China stunned Shota Yukawa of Japan and stopped him in round one for the vacant WBO Oriental junior lightweight title. Su staggered Yukawa with a hard combo and the Japanese would have been knocked down early if it wasn’t for the ring ropes. He continued to bring the fight to Su but a well-timed hard right sent Yukawa crashing to the canvas. Referee Sawaeng Thaweekoon of Thailand signaled the end at the 2:30 mark.
Su is now 11-1,6KO’s while Yukawa drops to 11-6-3,4KO’s.
Xiang Li got two belts in one bout when he beat South Korean Do Jin Lee by TKO in round seven. The fight was rather uneventful until the seventh when Li exploded and dropped with a flurry of punches. Lee seemed to lose his equilibrium when he tried to get up and Referee Surat Soikrachang stopped it at 2:57.
Li was awarded the WBO China National and WBC ABCO Silver superfeatherweight titles.
The WBO bouts were supervised by Samson Iu and WBO VP Leon Panoncillo. The WBC fight was supervised by Patrick Cusick.
For the non-title undercards – Zhaoxin Zhang of China and Chase Haley of New Zealand engaged in an entertaining light heavyweight brawl. Zhang’s height and reach advantage enabled him to prevail by majority decision. Scores – 58-56, 58-56 and 57-57.
In the female contest, Ha Thi Linh of Vietnam was the only foreign boxer who managed to win at the Shenzhen Bao’an District Sports Center.Linh knocked down China’s Zhao Yuanyuan in round one and cruised to a unanimous decision victory in their four rounder. Scores – 40-35 twice and 38-37.
The card was opened by two Chinese boxers – Haiyun Duan and Nan He with He winning by unanimous decision.
PHOTO – Jing Xiang interviewed inside the ring after his win against Jomar Caindog
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
DEF Promotions, the Hong Kong based outfit that helped make Rex Tso a star, streamed their latest show through their Facebook account and it was an interesting one with a real international flavour thanks to fighters from across Asia.
Although much of the card was low level action it was entertaining and gave us some fantastic action.
The first bout saw 17 year old debutant Zhiqiang Zhuo (1-0) take a 4 round decision win over Chuan Hsun Hong (2-1, 1), with Hone being dropped twice, en route to to the loss. Zhuo would take the decision 38-36 on all 3 cards.
The second bout saw revenge, as Tom Taw (5-1, 2) avenged his 2017 loss to Tsun Yin Jeremy Lee (1-1), with the 4 round decision, in a very entertaining bout. Lee was dropped in round 2, from a series of hooks, and although he saw out the distance it was clear he was second best. A third bout, a rubber bout, between the two, maybe over 6 rounds, could be very worth making.
The third bout saw talented 21 year old local Lennon Tsoi (5-1, 4) bounce back from his first loss to stop Thai visitor Wichet Sengprakhon (8-6, 3). Tsoi dropped his man who retired in the corner between rounds 4 and 5 to give Tsoi the win.
One man who couldn't bounce back from a recent loss was Japan's Shogo Yamamoto (4-4, 1), who suffered a second successive stoppage loss. The Japanese visitor was beaten, bruised, busted open and then dropped by Napalese born Hong Kong based Nibesh Ghale (5-1, 4), with Yamamoto's team stopping the bout during the count. Ghale, who has now reeled off 5 straight wins since losing to Kuok Kun Ng way back in 2013, looked really fun to watch, but he clearly needs to be kept in these lower level bouts for quite some time due to his technical deficiencies.
Filipino Renz Dacquel (2-1, 1) made things worse for the travelling Japanese contingent as she beat 19 year old Nanako Suzuki (3-2, 1) in an entertaining 4 round female bout. Suzuki, who had been one of the focal points of the promotion, came out swinging, but was dropped in the first round and seemed to be under a lot of pressure in the early going. Likely feeling a lot of expectation on her shoulders. In round 4 Suzuki managed to have her best success, hurting Dacquel, but she was unable to drop the Filipino, who earned the win with scores of 39-36. This is a big win for Dacquel but also an excellent learning experience for Suzuki who showed improvement through out the bout, and had it been a 6 rounder may well have dropped Dacquel and managed to pull out a result. A rematch of this, down the line, makes a lot of sense.
The quality then took a huge step up in class, as the talented young Lap Cheong Cheong (6-0, 4), from Macau, faced Indonesian Muhammad Wahid (4-2, 1). Cheong Cheong showed his class in the opening round, showing why he is regarded as a real boxing hope for Macau, but Wahid chose to play spoiler and began making things messy the following round. Round 3 again saw the Indonesian having some great moments but Cheong's skills were still on show and he finished the round with a determined body assault. In round 4 things stepped up massively with the two trading blows towards the end of the round, with Cheong looking like he was determined to see off his man.
The determination of Cheong to stop Wahid was again on show in round 5, as he cornered his man and went to work. By this point Cheong was becoming sloppy, as his work rate was taking a toll on his crispness, but he seemed really hungry to take the Indonesian out and continued pressing hard in round 6, testing Wahid's resolve to the final bell. It was as if Cheong wouldn't accept the win without it coming by stoppage, despite clearly being up on the scorecards. Impressively Wahid survived the 6 rounds, but there was no doubting the result, with all 3 judges scoring the bout 60-54 to Cheong.
The co-feature so unbeaten men colliding, as Japan's Ren Sasaki (9-0, 6) and China's Ge An Ma (6-1, 1) faced off. From the opening bell Ma was the aggressor, trying to march down the 2017 All Japan Rookie of the Year, he had mixed success but was proving to be hungry and aggressive throughout the first 3 minutes. Sadly for Ma his aggression cost him early in round 2, as he charged in and ate counters from the more technically schooled Japanese fighter, though his continued charge through the round saw him hurting Sasaki later in round, in what was a brilliant 3 minutes of action.
Ma continued to be ultra aggressive in round 3, trudging forward behind a tight guard, before unloading with hooks when in range, catching Sasaki from some unorthodox angles. Despite continuing to be aggressive his work rate was slowing and Sasaki was getting a better read on Ma, countering well, and landing the better blows whilst maintaining his range. The exhaustion was getting Ma as the rounds went on, and more and more mistakes were being made by him, whilst his work rate was grinding to a halt. In round 6 Sasaki jump on a mistake, rocking him in the corner and leaving him cut. The referee quickly intervened and stopper the bout, saving Ma and giving Sasaki the TKO win, saving Japanese fighters from a white wash on the show.
In the main event we saw Hong Kong's top prospect Raymond Poon KaiChing (7-2, 4) take on Chinese visitor Xiang Li (7-2-1, 2) for a trio of minor regional titles. Poon,the popular local, brought the pressure to begin with, and did so in a very intelligent manner, though by the end of the round Li was starting to find his range and tagging Poon with love sharp combinations of straight shots out of the southpaw stance.
As the fight went on Li began to stay in the pocket more, and even come forward at times, but never seemed able to budge the naturally stronger Poon. Li was having moments, but they seemed to be out numbered by the more eye catching blows of Poon through the first 4 rounds.
In round 5 Li managed to have his first real break through as he picked up his output and and started to essentially suffocate Poon with his offensive work, not giving Poon any time to catch his breath. Poon would manage to create some space to work in round 6, though Li continued to press, really hammering the body of Poon up close in what was a brilliant 3 minutes of action. The incredible action continued in round 7, a round that swung one way then the other, as both men began to tire. The crowd tried to spur on the local, with a loud "Raymond" chant, but it seemed to inspire Li just as much as Poon.
Despite both having put a lot into the fight neither wanted to just accept a loss and the final rounds saw both fighters getting their second wind. The final 2 rounds were excellent, with both tiredly unloading leather, neither man willing to leave anything in the tank. Poon was the man pressing but Li was working excellently at mid range, unloading and using his speed and straight punches to try and impress the judges in the last moments of the bout.
After 10 rounds it was hard call the winner of the main event. Poon was the local, the crowd favourite and seemed likely to get the close rounds, Li had been the better boxer, landing the high volume if shots and looking the more accomplished boxer. The scores came in, 96-94, 99-91 and 97-93. The second score causing some real confusion, before Li was announced as the winner.
We had Li winning, but it was close, hotly contested and well worth a re-watch. It's one of the hidden gems of the year, and every fan owes it to themselves to give this one a watch before the year is over.
Whilst the card was certainly not a top level show, it was entertaining and DEF HK know how to put on a good lower level card or well matched bouts. Hopefully these continue, despite loss for Poon. Even in defeat his reputation was enhanced.
The first title fight to be held in Asia in 2019 saw Chinese novice Xiang Li (4-0, 3) [李想] take on Filipino foe Arvin Yurong (12-2, 3) in a battle for the WBO Oriental Youth Lightweight title, in what was the first ever bout for the title.
The bout started cautiously, with Li staying on the outside early on and trying to maintain distance whilst backing off, that was despite looking like the more physically powerful man. Yurong however took Li's negativity as a sign to come forward and he had the first real success, with a combination mid way through the round. Li wasn't going to allow the round to just slip by however and came on strong in the later stages, whilst making his size and power count.
Li began the second round in much the same way that he ended the first, though this time Yurong went with him. Yurong had moments when he was firing back, but seemed to be backed up quite often as the power of Li took an effect on the Filipino. To his credit Yurong repeatedly bit down on his gum shield, looked to cut the space and work on the inside, where Li looked less comfortable than the visitor.
Yurong's determination saw him make round 3 into a firefight, though it seemed like it was a bad idea with Li being the bigger puncher and hurting him in the first minute. The big shots from Li were landing clean to head and body and he was throwing with real spite, though Yurong was showing a real warrior spirit in repeatedly walking forward, trying to get inside and work away with a high volume and body shots. It was a risky game plan from the Filipino, but a smart one given that Li was such a novice and had only gone beyond 3 rounds once, back in his debut.
Sadly for Yurong he paid for his risky tactics in round 4 as Li's power shook him, and sent him down to the canvas with a huge right hand late in the round, a round that Yurong had had real success in. Yurong tried to beat the count but he seemed completely gone and the referee rightfully stopped the action.
With the win Li claims his first title whilst Yurong suffers his second stoppage loss. There's a lot to like about Li, but there is a lot of improvements needed before he steps up a level. Despite the loss we'd love to see more of Yurnong, who looks like the sort of fighter who will always give his all, win or lose, and we can't criticise fighters like that!
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