Former amateur stand out Zou Shiming (4-0, 1), pictured, may split opinion in the boxing world but one thing that cannot be denied about him is that he's an improving fighter. Fighter after he appears to be making drastic improvements in how he fights and whilst he still makes plenty of mistakes he is certainly a fighter developing his skills and his style of fighting.
The improvements of Shiming were on show once again at "Ring of Gold" as he fought against Yokthong Kokietgym (15-4, 11) and put on easily his best performance since turning professional.
After looking like a rank novice on debut many fans wrote off Shiming. This performance against Yokthong however showed that Shiming does have serious potential as a professional. He began to set his feet and punch from them, he began to throw real combinations and he began to throw shots with bad intentions. These weren't pitty patty taps like we saw last year but these were full blooded shots which were thrown with the intention of stopping Yokthong.
After dominating 6 rounds Shiming managed to drop Yokthong in round 7. Surprisingly Shiming went down soon afterwards, although ruled a slip it seemed to fire up the Chinese fighter who dropped Yokthong twice more in follow up attacks and forced the referee to stop the contest immediately after the second knockdown.
Although Shiming did unload a number of heavy and hard shots his lack of power did seem evident with Yokthong taking much of Shiming's assault without ever looking in that much trouble until round 7 when the accumulation took it's toll. What was however impressive about Shiming is that he still showed impressive handspeed, which certainly appears to be his key trait, solid footspeed and movement and more impressively he easily went into round 7 and had a lot of energy left to burn.
It'd be a shock, after this bout, if they don't push Shiming into a 10 rounder next time out with a fringe world ranked guy. This could be difficult in the very tough Flyweight division but it wouldn't be a huge shock if they did manage to find someone that they they could feel comfortable putting him in with at that sort of level.
(Picture courtesy of Toprank and Chris Farina)
Just a few hours ago saw the official weigh-ins for this weekends "Ring of Gold" card in Macau and everyone, unsurprisingly, weighed inside their allowed weight.
The fighters in the main event, Zou Shiming (3-0) and Yodthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11) were both inside the Flyweight limit. Shiming was the bigger man weighing 111.8lbs whilst Yodthong was 110.6lbs. This was the heaviest weight that Shiming has weighed, though only marginally.
The IBF Lightweight world title fight between Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) and Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) saw both fighters weighing the exact same at 134.8lbs. The surprising thing here was that Vazquez didn't appear to be the 6" taller than the Russian as was widely reported. From what we saw it was, at most 4" and may well have just been 3". Surprising consider that much of the talk was about the Vazquez's impressive height advantage.
In the regional Super Flyweight unification bout between Rex Tso (11-0, 7) and Mao Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3) both men were again comfortably inside the limit. Tso, the heavier man was 114.6lbs whilst Matsuyama was 114.4lbs. Likewise the WBO International Featherweight title fight between Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14) and Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) also saw both fighters coming in in similar weight. Sonsona was 125.6lbs whilst Shimoda was 125.8lbs. For Shimoda, who made his name at Super Bantamweight, this was a career highest whilst Sonsona weighed his lowest since defeating Carlos Joan Gaspar Jacobo in 2011.
Sonsona's compatriot, and Japanese boxing star, Ryota Murata (2-0, 2) weighed a career highest 161.4lbs for his contest with Brazil's experienced Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) who was just less than a lb lighter weighing in at 160.6lbs. We believe this is Nascimento's heaviest weight since 2004 though it likely won't help him in what we view as being a bit of a mismatch.
The biggest difference in weight between fighters on the card was in the swing bout which saw Kuok Kun Ng (2-0) weighing in at 154.2lbs, his career high and some 3lbs heavier than when we last saw him. Kuok's opponent Rocky Alp Alp (5-10) was over 4lbs lighter standing at 150lbs on the scales. This difference was given a good run for it's money by Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) who was 3.6lbs heavier than Atthaporn Jaritram (4-0, 1). Mekhontsev came in at 177.2lbs whilst Attahporn was well inside the 175lb limit weighing just 173.6lbs.
One other bout with a notable weight difference was Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0, 6) having more than 3lbs on Yakobus Heluka (7-5). De La Torre came in at 131.4lbs whilst Heluka was 128lbs.
In the one remaining bout, the contest between Jerwin Ancajas (18-1-1, 10) and Inthanon Sithchamuang (20-6, 11) was saw Ancajas having a small but notable advantage. The once beaten Filipino weighed 115.6lbs whilst the Thai was 114.6lbs.
(Picture, courtesy of Top Rank's twitter features Ryota Murata and Carlos Nascimento).
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