For a country of over 1 billion people China hasn't really emerged as a boxing power, though we believe that we are on the verge of a Chinese boxer revolution, no not that one!
At the forefront of Chinese professional boxing is Xiong Zhao Zhong the first, and so far only, Chinese man to win a world title. Sadly he's also the first Chinese male fighter to lose a world title which he did earlier this year in a huge upset loss to Mexico's previously unheralded Oswaldo Novoa.
Going in to bout it appeared nailed on for Zhong to defend his title. He was a massive betting favourite, he was fighting at home in China and he was the champion. What few expected was that Novoa would actually be a badly picked opponent and wasn't the patsy many thought he was. In fact Novoa looked some 2 or 3 divisions bigger than Zhong, his shots had so much more on them than the punches from the Chinese fighter and everything Zhong landed seemed to just bounce off the Mexican.
It wasn't so much an upset as a complete shock and Novoa didn't just win but he battered Zhong in one of most one sided and brutal Minimumweight title bouts in recent years.
For Zhong the dreams of becoming a 2-time world champion look a long way from happening but to claim he was the first man from China to hold a world title is still an incredible claim to fame and he is still at the forefront of Zovi Boxing's drive to making boxing a mainstream sport on the Chinese mainland. The success Zovi have may not match the same success that Top Rank have in Macau but it's still helping the growth of boxing in China and that is worth celebrating even if Zhong's reign as a champion was short lived.
(Video courtesy of Hougigo Martin)
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