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)
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