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Earlier oday fight fans in China saw local hero Xiong Zhao Zhong (27-7-1, 14) [熊朝忠] return to the ring after almost 17 months of inactivity, and amazingly ressurect his career.
The Chinese veteran, and former WBC Minimumweight champion, was taking on unbeaten Thai prospect Petchmanee Kokietgym (18-1, 10) [เพชรมณี ก่อเกียรติยิม], and rolled back the clock to edge out the Thai.
Aged 35, actually celebrating his 35th birthday on the day of the fight, Zhong was though to be far beyond his best. He was more than 2 years removed from his last win, a decision over Crison Omayao, and had indicated his retirement last year. Amazingly though he showed his experience and desire, to do just enough to impress the judges and claim a majority decision, by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114.
Aged 26 the Thai will come again, and will feel unfortunate to have lost his unbeaten record, hough will have known a decision was always going to be a big ask in China. The loss will however serve as a huge lesson and a key part of his development.
On the same card was a hug win for Xu Can (13-2, 1) [徐灿],who surprisingly scored his first stoppage win over breaking down former world champion Nehomar Cermeno (26-7-1-1, 15), who was a world champion earlier this year.
The Chinese youngster set a high pace, and left Cermeno with notable facial swelling before the veteran retired from the contest, suffering his econd straight retirement loss following a defeat to Shun Kubo.
Aged 37 it's hard to see what Cermeno has left to do in the sport, though we couldn't be sure about how his financial situation looks, and he may well feel the need to fight on to earn the pay cheques to feed themselves. As for Can, the win is a huge one, and really does see him taking a huge step towards a world title bout.
Can is probably still a few fights from a shot at world honours, but this win certainly pushes him into the mix.