Straight from the off the challenger looked to make a statement and opened up with an aggressive salvo, which saw him set his stall out and tell the champion that this wasn't going to be easy. Things got worse for Wanheng late in the round, when a headclash left him looking badly cut around the left eye, and could well have resulted in a technical decision. The cut clearly shook Wanheng who struggled to get through the later stages of the opening round and he looked genuinely buzzed. It was however a cut that brought about a point deduction from Kimweri, as part of the WBC's accidental foul rule.
Kimweri's aggression was again notable in round 2, as he looked to once against put Wanheng on to the back foot. This time however Wanheng had started to become aware of what was coming back, and landed some solid right hands of his own.
Having started to relax in to the bout Wanheng slowly but surely moved through the gears, taking rounds 3 and 4 to establish a clear lead on all 3 cards when they were first made public.
In the middle rounds Wanheng continued to dominate, landing numerous right hands as a tired looking Kimweri backed up more, and fired back less. By the end of round 8 it looked like the challenger was clearly fading and it was looking like he may end up being stopped.
As we've seen from the Thai in the past he eased off in the later rounds, knowing he had a wide enough lead to take the decision, which he did with scores of 117-110 and 118-109, twice, to retain his titl. Despite the wide cards he was put under genuine pressure easy,and following the cut it did look like we could have been heading to the cards very early. It was a bad cut, and the work his team did in controlling it was impressive, it could have ended the fight but it didn't, and thats, in part, thanks to the experience of the officials, including the brilliant Bruce McTavish who again showed why he's one of the more highly regarded referees in the Oriental region.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)