Earlier this year we saw Chinese hopeful Qiu Xiao Jun (21-4, 10) come up short in his first world title fight, suffering a 12th round TKO loss to veteran Nehomar Cermeno (26-5-1-1, 15) in a bout for the then vacant WBA Super Bantamweight title. Yesterday the two men met in a rematch, with Jun looking to claim the title at his second attempt and the talented, but often under-rated, Cermeno.
From the off we saw an improved Jun, as if the local star has been working hard in training to correct some of the defensive errors that had cost him in the first bout with Cermeno. Despite those improvements he was struggling to cope with Cermeno's clean and quicker blows, with the champion often landing the better shots and the cleaner counters.
Although Jun was applying pressure through much of the fight he never seemed to hurt Cermeno with any regularity, as he would if he was going to be able to defeat the Venezuelan. Jun refused to back down from the fight, and tried to come on strong in the later rounds but hadn't done enough to over-come the more naturally skilled and capable Cermeno.
Although Jun had put up a good effort, and did have home advantage, and left Cermeno with a cash on his right cheek, he seemed to know he hadn't done enough to earn the win. That was shown on the score cards that favoured Cermeno with scores of 118-110 and 117-111, twice.
For Cermeno the win ends a brilliant year which has seen him return with 3 wins in China after having had his career written off and although Jun was beaten again here the Chinese fighter showed enough improvement to suggest that he has a bright future ahead of him and will be able to bounce back, possibly winning a world title in the future.
Over the last decade or so Chinese boxing has been growing, markedly, with a number of Chinese fighters getting attention in the West including the gigantic Taishan Dong, the heavy handed Zhang Junlong and former amateur star Zou Shiming. We have also seen a number of Chinese fighters fight for world titles including the aforementioned Shiming and Ik Yang.
Today we saw another Chinese fighter fighting for a world title, Super Bantamweight Qiu Xiao Jun (20-3, 9), who was regarded by those in China as potentially their best hope for a world title in the coming years. Jun was hoping to become the second Chinese man to become a world champion as he took on Panamanian based Venezuelan veteran Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) for the vacant WBA Super Bantamweight title.
On paper Jun had most the advantages. He was fighting at home in China, he was 11 years younger than Cermeno and the rising star of Chinese boxing. Sadly for Jun the advantages didn't really help him as the Chinese slugger was made to look rudimentary through out, with Cermeno, the more polished fighter, picking him off with counters through out.
The bout started slowly but by round 2 it was clear that Cermeno was the much more skilled man and the man who looked in control, scoring a flash knockdown in the second. From then on Jun seemed to really struggle to get into a rhythm or find his range with shots regularly falling wide or going over Cermeno's head whilst Cermeno, the more conservative fighter, was landing counters at will.
In the middle rounds Jun tried to turn the bout around by picking up the pace and forcing Cermeno to work more,that plan however made life easier for Cermeno who found more openings and landed more and more frequently whilst Jun struggled to have any notable success.
Despite the bout being one sided for the most part it did seem like we were on route to a decision, that was until round 12 when Cermeno seemed to stagger a tired looking Jun who failed to respond. A follow up forced the referee to stop the Chinese warrior, who was looking completely spent, despite not going down.
The skill level between the two was huge and although Jun did give it a go he was never really in the fight. Sadly for Chinese boxing this loss comes on the back of other high profile losses for Chinese fighters, including Zou Shiming's loss to Amnat Ruenroeng, Ik Yang's loss to Cesar Rene Cuenca and Xiong Zhao Zhong's recent loss to Jose Antonio Jimenez.
The bad run for Chinese boxing will continue here, but it does seem like the country is on the verge of a boxing revolution. Whether that takes 10, 15 or 20 years it will happen given the growth in the sport. Sadly for Jun it's back to the drawing board.
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.