At the moment we're getting an on-going card from Fuzhou in China. The main bouts from the card are two world title bouts, but before those we had the under-card, featuring 4 bouts.
The first contest saw the previous unbeaten unbeaten Chinese hopeful Hua Long Zhu (2-1, 2) suffer a split decision loss to Thai visitor Sophon Klachun (5-3, 1) in a less than entertaining 6 rounder. Zhu really looked horrifically basic here, and did little to showcase Chinese boxing, whilst the Thai just did what he had to do to pick up the win.
The second bout was another China Vs Thailand bout, but was a much, much better bout, as 21 year old Shichao Gao (4-0-1, 1) scored a controversial decision over former WBA "regular" Super Bantamweight title challenger Nop Kratingdaenggym (23-2, 9), aka Anurak Thisa. This bout was night and day compared to the show opener, with skills, action and really good back and forth throughout the contest. It wasn't an all out war, but it was a high tempo, battle with the Thai showing more aggression and Gao trying to use his speed and youth. After 10 rounds the judges went with the local fighter, scoring the bout 96-94, 96-95 and 97-93, though if we're being honest he was very fortunate to get the win here.
The third, and most notable, of the under-card bouts saw Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3-1, 5) over-come Filipino veteran Ardin Diale (35-14-4, 17), to retain the WBA International title. This was much, much, much more competitive than expected, but Tuolehazi over-came some worries to take home the win. The Chinese fighter was hurt from body shots part way through but he gritted his teeth and and took the decision with with scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 114-114, to claim the majority decision. This was a 7th straight win for Wulan, but he is still far too raw for a world title fight.
Earlier this month Channel 7 in Thailand changed their policy on showing boxing, deciding they were only taking shows with world title bouts, likely trying to increase the overall quality of boxing that they were showing. The first notable bout to be affected by this took place yesterday, and saw Nop Kratingdaenggym (23-1, 9), aka Anurak Thisa, take on Filipino JR Magboo (17-3-2, 8)in a bout for the WBA Asia Featherweight title.
Originally scheduled for earlier in the month, Channel 7's decision to change how they showed things forced this bout to be delayed and to be shown on Channel 3SD. That's despite the fact that, on paper, it looked a pretty good fight and should have been expected to be competitive.
Sadly for the promoter, who likely would have wanted to use the bout to show CH7 what they were missing out on, the bout turned out to be a bit of a mismatch, with Magboo being stopped in round 2 following a combination, with a body being particularly hurtful to the Filipino.
The win for Nop does put him in a good position to work his way towards a WBA title fight, and was an impressive result, though with the bout now taking place on CH3SD there is a chance that his audience will diminish going forward and that he and his team will need to continually supply better opponents to keep him in the mix.
For Magboo this would have been a very disappointing result, and is his third loss in 4, and his second straight stoppage loss. Maybe he has began to lose his desire or his confidence.
Tomorrow fight fans in Thailand will get the chance to see Nop Kratingdaenggym (22-1, 8), aka Anurak Thisa, take on Filipino JR Magboo (17-2-2, 8), in a really good looking match up for the WBA Asia Featherweight title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in, and both made weight and passed all their physical examinations.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be part of a broadcast on Thai Channel 3SD, being shown live from 14:30 local time.
Interestingly the bout had been announced for an earlier date but was shifted when Thai Channel 7 changed their broadcast policy on boxing, which appears to have made some pretty notable changes to boxing in the country, including pushing this bout backwards and changing the channel of it.
For those interested Channel 3SD is widely available, with Guchill offering a legal and live stream of the channel.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
Earlier this year we saw China's exciting, but limited, Qiu Xiao Jun (21-3, 10) [裘晓君] fight in his first wold title bout, losing by stoppage to Venezuelan veteran Nehomar Cermeno. Today the "Dragon" returned to the ring, for his first bout since that loss, and looked like a much improved fighter as he dismantled over-matched Filipino Robert Udtohan (23-2-3, 15) in the main event event of a card in Thailand.
From the opening round Jun looked hungry to prove himself and never looked like a fighter doubting himself. He quickly established his dominance in the contest, backing Udtohan up at will and in round 3 found a home for his right hand, landing it so frequently that it seemed obvious the end was neigh.
After a barrage of shots Udtohan eventually went down and failed to recover giving Jun a straight forward 3rd round win, and one that will clearly boost his confidence following the loss to Cermeno.
Incidentally Jun's bout actually played live on Chinese TV and was above the card despite the fact that Jun's conqueror Nehomar Cermeno (25-5-1-1, 15) defended the WBA Super Bantamweight title on the same show, stopping Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-1, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร] in 3 rounds.
On the same show we saw 3 other bouts, all streamed online. One of these saw Can Xu (10-2) [徐灿] score a decision win over the very spirited Ramiro Blanco (14-1-3, 7), with Blanco pushing the action through out but never hitting with the force needed to hurt Xu, who retained his WBA International Super Featherweight title. Despite failing to make weight Blanco showed great stamina and he would make for an interesting opponent for other prospects in and around the Lightweight division.
Another saw Zhilei Zhang (12-0, 8) stop the hilarious bad Georgian Gogita Gorgiladze (32-14, 27) in about 70 seconds. The Georgian, who suffered a 7th stoppage loss, was down in the first 30 seconds or so and never looked comfortable afterwards with "Big Bang" hardly breaking sweat. It should be noted that the visitor is a natural Cruiserweight and was giving away close to 40lbs at the weigh in and it does leave us wondering if that was supposed to be merely a showcase for Zhang.
A much more interesting China Vs Georgia bout saw Fanlong Meng (9-0, 6) getting the rub of the green to over-come the very hungry Zura Mekereshvili (18-6, 14). Meng was down in the opening round and again in round 4 as Mekereshvili put him under immense pressure from the opening moments to the final bell. The Chinese fighter, who was 1' taller than his opponent, could never establish distance and had to put up with the Georgian forcing him back through out. Had this been outside of China we genuinely think Meng would have suffered his first defeat.
The Chinese boxing scene is an interesting one with a lot of potential, most of which is untapped, and a TV channel with a reach far wider than any in the US, UK or Mexico. Sadly the TV channel that carries much of the boxing in China is the rather frustrating CCTV5 which is sure to frustrate fans tomorrow with what appears to be a split-timed broadcast.
The broadcast, or rather the first part of it, will be aired between between 17:00 and 18:00 local time, with no real details about who is going to be featured on that portion of the card. We then take a 4 hour break before returning at 22:00 local time for one hour, according to the schedule on TV Mao.
With just 5 bouts schedule for the card and only 2 time slots of one hour each it'll be interesting to see how CCTV5 air the show, with the likely idea being that they will have a lot of things going on at the venue between bouts. Likely allowing us to watch the WBA Super Bantamweight title bout between Nehomar Cermeno (24-5-1, 14) and Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-0, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร] and one other bout.
Interestingly http://sports.le.com/ seem to be suggesting that they will be streaming the card from 19:30 local time, adding further confusion to those wanting to watch the show.
It's a confusing situation but it's almost certain that all the footage from the show will hit the internet not too long after the shot it's self.
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