Earlier this week we, and many others, expected WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (21-4-1, 11) to face Australian based Omari Kimweri.
Unfortunately however Kimweri has been unable to fight in that contest after passport issues saw him being sent back to Australia, just days before the fight.
Zhong, China's first ever boxing world champion, may have thought he would be denied of a chance to defend his title in front of his people. Thankfully however Zhong's promoters managed to save the day as they called around and found the champion an opponent.
Unfortunately the opponent has turned out to be nothing special as Thailand's Lookrak Kiatmungmee (7-4, 4) has become the man to fill in the gap. With the late notice however it was never going to be a contest as intriguing as the Zhong/Kimweri contest would have been.
Zhong is one of the sports most over-looked fighters. For some he's little more than a paper champion though for others, those who have seen him, he's a tough and bullish fighter who will break opponents with his strength, style and mental toughness.
As Zhong showed in his first title defense, a decision over the highly regarded Denver Cuello, he's not someone who could be described as a sweet scientist. He is however someone who sums up Asian boxing, tough gutsy and always in the ring to win.
In Kiatmungmee it's obvious that Zhong has a "patsy". Kimweri did look like a credible opponent but the Thai replacement is literally someone who picked up the phone and said yes.
Kiatmungmee hasn't fought in almost two years, incidentally following a decision loss to Kimweri. Not only has he been inactive but he also suffered 4 losses in his last 5 bouts and you actually need to go back to 2006 for his last noteworthy victory.
Yes this is a mismatch, though with the conditions surrounding it, it's a mismatch that saved the show and has allowed Zhong to make the first ever world title defense in China. Something worth considering before you rip the fight a new one.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.