The Chinese boxing scene may not be the hottest out thee but over the last week or so there has been several stories regarding former WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-6-1, 14) [熊朝忠].
Originally it was reported in the Chinese press that Zhong was on the verge of retirement. The decision may not have been a hugely shocking one for fans who have followed the 33 year old who now looks to be on the slide, however it was shock to his promoter, who has denied the story.
Gang has stated that whilst Zhong may retire he hasn't been told of a potential retirement and is instead hoping to get Zhong back in the ring in July or August with the intent being to manoeuvre him into a world title fight in over his coming next few fights.
Although the press and Gang did disagree on Zhong's current status there was some agreement with both stating that Zhong had been resting since his bout with Lu Bin, which took place over the Chinese new year. The rest appears to be needed for the 33 year old who was beaten by Jun in a bout that hasn't gone on his professional record, but was a relatively one sided defeat and it also seems that the rest will give Zhong time to contemplate his future.
According to the Chinese media Zhong was supposed to agree to fight Oswaldo Novoa in a world title eliminator, that was supposed to be agreed for this week. Zhong however turned down the fight to rest, and as a result there will instead by an eliminator between Novoa and Saul Juarez which will take place on March 19th. The winner of that bout will be the next challenger for Wanheng Menayothin [วันเฮง ไก่ย่างห้าดาวยิม].
Incidentally Novoa stopped Zhong for the title before losing it to Wanheng, also by stoppage. It seems that Wanheng's team had planned to face Juarez in the summer but those plans may change if Novoa over-comes his fellow Mexican.
Whilst Gang did dispute Zhong's retirement, he did seem to know that it is coming and has stated that he would be regretting it, but could understand if his charge did decide to hang up the gloves rather than return in the summer.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!