For only the second time ever a Chinese man holds a recognised world title, as earlier tonight former amateur star Zou Shiming (9-1, 2) [邹市明] defeated Thailand's Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (39-2-2, 24) [ขวัญพิชิต 13เหรียญเอ็กซ์เพลส] and claimed the previously vacant WBO Flyweight title, marking his “successful” transition from amateur great to professional world champion.
The two men were fighting for the second time, having first fought back in 2014 when Shiming easily beat Kwanpichit, and like their first bout it was clear they were in totally different leagues. In fact it wasn't so much a case of whether Shiming would win again, but rather whether he was capable of stopping the Thai.
From the opening stages it seemed clear that Shiming had improved since their first bout, sitting on his shots more and showing a more polished and professional style than he had in their first bout. The style left him more open to counters, and Kwanpichit did have the occasional bit of success, but those moments were few and far between with the Thai being tagged at will. In the second round the success of Shiming worked to great effect with a right hand dropping the Thai.
Shiming continued to dominate through the middle rounds of the fight, though at times reverted to the Shiming we all know, and many hate, with a huge amount of unnecessary movement and little final product. There were some great combinations from Shiming, but they were too few and too far, whether everyone just wishing Shiming would stay in the pocket and really look for the finish.
By the end of round 9 even Kwanpichit was looking like he wanted the bout to end, throwing Shiming down at the end of the round, likely a trick taught to him by countryman Amnat Ruenroeng who he had been training with prior to the bout. The following round Kwanpichit looked little more than a human punch bag, but one that Shiming showed too much apprehension in tagging, despite Kwanpichit stumbling around like an exhausted fighter.
Despite being clearly tired Kwanpichit was able to hear the final bell as Shiming, once again, refused to allow himself to shine. Happy to win the rounds with his feet rather than to make an impression on fans. It was a disappointing and tame ending to a hugely frustrating performance, that saw Shiming score a shut out.
For Chinese boxing the result really is great, and it gives the country a second champion after a string of failures in recent bouts, by Shiming, Ik Yang, Qiu Xiao Jun, Xiong Zhao Zhong and Yi Ming Ma. Sadly though Shiming's reign likely won't last long and it wouldn't be a shock to see him make just a single defense before coming unstuck against a B rate challenger.
For Thai boxing the bout was an insult with no one referring to Kwanpichit by his fighting name and the performance was dire. Kwanpichit never looked like he had any chance and the fact he made it to the final bell said more about Shiming's inability to actually force a stoppage.
Thankfully with the division having plenty of hungry sharks in it we're unlikely to see Shiming's reign last long, with fighters like Daigo Higa, Muhammad Waseem, Iwan Zoda and Donnie Nietes all chasing world title fights in 2017. As for Kwanpichit it's time to look for pastures new, or be used as a stepping stone for a rising youngster who actually has some potential to go places in the near future
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.