Yesterday Chinese fans at the Yong Chan Arena in Chingqing had the chance to see the latest Zovi boxing card. The card wasn't one of the biggest Zovi cards of the year, but it was certainly notable one with two title bouts, one of which featured one of China's most promising young fighters.
That notable youngster was Bai Shan Bo (8-0-1, 4) [拜山坡], who continued his unbeaten start and successfully retained his WBC Youth Light Welterweight title with a wide decision win against Filipino Nelson Tinampay (9-3-1, 4).
On paper the bout was a step up for Bo, who beat Tackie Annan inside a round for the title back ion February, though it was a step up that he managed to take rather easily. For the Filipino, who was last seen losing against Jonel Gadapan, the bout was a nightmare with Tinampay struggling to have any notable success. with the cards reading 99-90、99-87 and 99-89, with the only real success for Tinampay being a 9-9 round, for round 4. That 9-9 round occured due to a point taken from Bo due to a headclash that forced the referee to deduct a point under the WBC rules.
Tinampay was dropped in round 8 and given a torrid time through several of the earlier rounds.
Whilst this was a good win for the unbeaten 21 year old, it does seem like his team are in no rush to race him through the ranks and will be progressing him slowly and carefully, with each opponent being a slight step up from the last. From what we understand his next opponent will be around the top 100 on boxrec.com, a big step up from Tinampay, but a step up that his team will feel their man can manage.
The other title fight saw Xing Xin Yang (11-4-2, 8) [杨兴新] claim the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental and PABA Welterweight titles with an 8th round TKO win against Takamori Akita (10-6-1, 8) [藍田 貴義]. Yang set a furious pace to begin and seemed to unsettle Akita with that pace, however the Japanese fighter showed his experience to see out the early storm. It was then that Yang changed his gameplan and started to counter, conserving energy and yet still landing solid blows on Akita.
Having felt that Akita was slowing Yang against forced the action and in round 8 he forced the referee to save the Japanese fighter, who suffered his third stoppage defeat in 17 bouts.
Chinese boxing had a 2015 to forget however it seems that 2016 has started in style with a pair of cards to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The second of those cards has just kicked off and has arguably unveiled a star in the making.
That potential star is young 140lb prospect Bai Shan Bo (7-0-1, 4) [拜山坡] who claimed the WBC Youth title with an opening round stoppage against Tackie Annan (6-3, 6).
Coming in to this Annan had racked up 6 straight stoppage wins, following stoppage losses in his first two bouts, but that run came to an end in very 1-sided fashion.
It was clear that Bo wasn't intending to hang around and he made an almost immediate impact and dropped the African visitor inside 90 seconds with an devastating counter over the top. To his credit Annan got to his feet but was forced to eat combinations from Bo before his corner waved the towel to end the bout.
Whilst beating Annan wasn't particularly impressive, what we saw from Bo was impressive. For a man fighting his 8th professional bout be looked fast, calm, controlled, accurate whilst possessing a nice arsenal of shots and some lovely combinations. It was a performance that was genuinely eye opening and the sort of the performance that catches the eye and leaves us wanting to see more of him.
Hopefully Zovi will keep Bo active as, on this performance at least, he has the potential to go a very long way.
By now we've become accustomed to the WBA making some puzzling decisions though arguable most puzzling was announced earlier this morning by Chinese promoter Zovi Boxing who announced that their upcoming February 12th show in Lu Zhou was to feature a WBA Super Bantamweight world title bout.
We'd known about the show for a few days, though today's announcement genuinely was puzzling.
The specific announcement was that China's Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) [裘晓君] was to fight for the WBA Super Bantamweight title, the regular version, on the show against Ghana's little known Raymond Commey (13-2, 7), with the WBA title being on the line alongside the WBC "Silver" title.
As a result of the announcement it is now clear that Jun has the opportunity to become the second Chinbese "world champion", following former WBC Minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong.
The decision to free up the WBA "regular" title was made when the WBA upgraded Scott Quigg's title to "Super" champion status ahead of his unification bout with Carl Frampton, which will take place on February 27 just over 2 weeks after the Jun/Commey bout.
In the latest rankings Jun was ranked #9 by the WBA whilst Commey was #11. Jun's ranking did get a boost late last year, when he claimed the WBA International super bantamweight title, with an 11th round TKO of Frenchman Amor Belahdj Ali in Monaco. That was Jun's 11th straight win and his 5th stoppage in 6 bouts. Commey on the other hand has been the WBA Pan African Super Bantamweight champion for more than a year, and has also notched 11 straight wins coming in to this one. Despite their recent success the decision by the WBA seems to be a deeply political one given that the organisation already have an "interim" champion, who should really have been upgraded instead of having their title on the line here.
The WBA's affiliation with the show runs to several other bouts, including a WBA "interim" female Minimumweight title bout between Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) [蔡宗菊] and Venezuelan visitor Debora Rengifo (6-1-1, 3) which comes about despite the fact that the champion defended her title twice last year and that Rengifo has gone 1-1-1 in her last 3 bouts. There will also be a WBA "International" Super Featherweight bout between Xu Chan (7-2) [徐灿] and Isaias Santos Sampaio (26-11, 24).
As well as the WBA title fights there will also be a number of WBC title bouts, including a WBC Youth Youth title fight at 140lbs, between Bai Shan Bo (6-0-1, 3) [拜山坡] and Tackie Annan (6-2, 6) and a bout for the WBC Asian Boxing Council and WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Featherweight titles, between Wei Qian Xian (9-4-1, 1) and Japanese veteran Takafumi Nakajima (24-7-1, 10)
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