Yesterday in China fight fans had a small but notable card in Diaobingshan.
The main event of this card was an solid looking match up between Chinese local Jun Zhao (12-2-1, 9) [赵君] and Japanese visitor Sonin Nihei (9-5-2, 1) [仁平 宗忍]. It didn't scream amazing bout on paper, but the styles of the two always made it seem likely that the bout would be action packed and exciting. And it delivered!
After a relatively quiet feeling out round the two men really began to go through the gears by the end of round 2 they were trading on the inside in a pulsating war. Nihei was the one coming inside, getting close and working the higher tempo. Zhao was being dragged into Nihei's fight, though tried to create space. It was space that Zhao needed, being the bigger puncher he was struggling to work up close and was having his power smothered, time and time again by the visitor.
Nihei's effort and pressure did catch the eye, a lot, but it came at a cost and in the later rounds his pace did slow slightly and his energy became an issue. As his energy faded it allowed Zhao the space he needed to work and get full extension on his shots. With a tiring Nihei on the ropes and Zhao having space to work with the Chinese fighter turned on the heat and forced Nihei to be save with the referee and Nihei's corner jumping in to stop the punishment.
In the chief support bout Mongolian hopeful Erkhembayar Batbayar (6-0, 4) stopped Korean Middleweight Jun Yong Lee (6-6-4, 3) in the 7th of a scheduled 10 rounds. This was the first time Batbayar had actually fought at Middleweight having fought as high as Cruiserweight, and it did seem like the 160lb weight class was more suited to him. It's rare to talk about a Mongolian fighter, but Batbayar is certainly worthy of some attention with his aggression and power.
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