Taishan Dong reappears....in the WWE?
In 2014 we saw the professional debut of Chinese giant Taishan Dong (6-0, 3) [董泰山], who became one of the highest profile fighters from Asia almost over-night, with his promotional team doing an amazing job in promoting hims. Sadly that publicity far out did Don'g boxing talent, and it wasn't long until fans realised that the 7' Chinese fighter really couldn't box. He was huge, in good shape and had the look of a monster, but was slow, lacked boxing IQ an really didn't have the power or speed to compete above the club scene level.
With his lack of development he fell from a potential star to more of a curiousity act, a fighter who people watched due to his unique look, rather than his actual talent and promise. It seemed like every was aware of it, including the fighter himself, who had reportedly requested his release from Golden Boy Promotions back in 2016, after having last fought in December 2015.
Following his request to be released he vanished. No one from China or the West seemed to know where he had gone and the biggest man in Chinese boxing literally disappeared almost over-night.
Now it seems like Taishan is ready to return to the spot, albeit in a different career.
Rather than stay with boxing the "Great Wall" is now turning his hand to professional wrestling, and recently began a WWE try out at the well established WWE Performance Center.
It's well known that "Vince Mcmahon likes big sweaty men" and Taishan would be among the biggest, with a very unique look and back story which could make him a potential star in the world of professional wrestling. Though given the lack of athletic ability he showed as a boxer, the career path might have the same lack of success that his boxing career had.
Whilst we do wish Taishan the best, we do wonder if his potential is already too limited to be a star in the WWE, though it is nice to see him return from the void and show that he is still getting on with life, despite his bizarre vanishing act.
(Image courtesy of WWE.com)
This past week has seen Chinese sources report that Chinese giant Taishan Dong (6-0, 3) [董泰山] is set to split with American promoter Golden Boy Promotions.
The freakishly tall Taishan was marketed amazingly well, with the giant getting notable media coverage and TV time with Oscar De La Hoya stating that he wanted Taishan to become the Yao Ming of boxing. That attention, and hype, however was much more than his talent deserved, and that was clear almost from the off with Taishan showing littler natural ability as a boxer.
Taishan fought all 6 of his professional bouts in the US, with the final one of them coming last December when he over-came Daniel Arambula in a really poor bout, and has been inactive throughout 2016.
The Chinese sources report that Taishan will be free from his Golden Boy contract in November. It'll be hard to see where he goes from here but he could well return to kick boxing, where he scored a notable win over Bob Sapp before turning to boxing.
Whilst Taishan should be considered a "bust", given the hype and marketing he was given, he could also be considered the perfect example of how not to promote a fighter. It was clear that De La Hoya had seen something marketable in Taishan's unique size and look, but he failed to have any of the talent necessary to go far in the sport. He lacked boxing IQ, speed, power and pretty much every thing needed to be a boxer. His failure to become a star should serve as a cold reminder to promoters, that too much hype can force a fighters career to fail before it even gets going and that seems to have been the case here.
Interestingly the same sources also report that Dong will spend the next few weeks training along side Zhou Zhipeng ahead of his November fight with Korean giant Choi Hong Man.
Earlier today Golden Boy Promotions been announced that Chinese Heavyweight Taishan Dong (3-0, 2) would be back in the ring on May 9th as he battles on the under-card of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's fight with James Kirkland in Houston Texas.
For those who aren't aware Dong is a 7" tall Chinese fighter who has captured the attention of the American boxing media are been showed cased on TV as a slight freak show of a fighter. Although he's incredibly tall and rangy the 26 year old is still merely a boxing baby and will be several years from really making an impact against meaningful opponent. As a result of his inexperience he's being matched relatively easily and his May 9th bout will see him taking on the 31 year old Ronny Hale (3-7, 3). Hale has scored all his wins by stoppage inside a minute, but has been stopped 6 times himself, in fact he's lost every time an opponent has lasted more than a full minute.
This bout will be the first time Dong has fought outside of California as a professional boxer though it's clear that Golden Boy will do their best to show off the fighter in various locales due to the intrigue he brings. Hopefully he does develop into a star though at the moment it's clear he's still more of a gimmick attraction than a genuine prospect.
For those who haven't yet seen Dong we have included his most recent bout, a contest against Roy McCrary, below.
Over the last 24 hours there has been a lot written about Chinese Heavyweight giant Taishan Dong (2-0, 2) with some websites comparing him to Ivan Drago or Nikolay Valuev. We won't do that, afterall we're not here for hyperbole.
What we will say however is that Dong was again an imposing figure as he took to the stage earlier today for the weigh in ahead of his 3rd professional bout.
The 6'11" Chinese fighter returns to the ring this Friday on a Golden Boy promoted card on FOX Sports 1 and will be facing 42 year old Roy McCrary (3-2, 3) from Houston, Texas. It's another low level bout for Taishan but the Chinese Heavy won't be rushed, he is after all just a novice boxer. He's not had the long amateur pedigree of some fighters and will instead be given time to develop and bouts like this are perfect for him to hone develop his skills.
The 26 year old giant, who's real name is Jian Jun Dong, only made his debut last July when he stopped Alex Rozman in 2 rounds. That bout, also aired on Fox Sports, saw Taishan impressive with his speed for such a big guy but saw some need for improvement. That improvement will come bit by bit and will be a case of taking babysteps, as seen in his second bout, an opening round KO over the hapless Tommy Washington Jr.
For those expecting to see Taishan in a serious bout any time soon, we're afraid to say you'll have to wait. For now these baby steps will continue. That however isn't a bad thing for the fighter or his team who know that he'll make headlines every time he steps in the ring as more and more fans hear about him.
Whether Taishan ends up a success or not is something we're not going to guess on, however he's certainly a man capable of capturing the attention of fans, opponents and the media. For that we can't complain, the more attention given to Heavyweight boxing and Chinese boxing the better, especially with their now being 3 notable Chinese Heavyweights all making a name for themselves. Taishan, obviously, Zhang Junlong (10-0, 10)* and Zhang Zhilei (2-0, 2). It's unlikely any of them will fight each other but it's still interesting to note that country is developing Heavyweights and sooner or later the country will develop a really good Heavyweight.
(* Junlong's record is disputed with his team claiming he is 18-0, 18 )
We have been informed that Chinese Heavyweight giant Taishan Dong (1-0, 1) will return to the ring for his second professional bout on November 13th, as he attempts to continue what promises to be a very interesting professional boxing career.
Dong, dubbed "The Great Wall" due to his size and nationality, made a splash earlier this year when he dominated journeyman Alex Rozman en route to a 2nd round stoppage victory. Sadly however his upcoming bout won't be a step forward and instead Dong will be fighting against the win-less Michael Lane (0-3).
Lane, a 6'4" fighter based in Arkansas was last seen in a ring September when he was out pointed by Danny Calhoun, prior to that he had been out of the ring for more than 2 years. Despite being 6'4" Lane will be dwarfed by the 7' Dong who is a seriously imposing fighter to say the least.
Whilst we under-stand the need to make Dong look good we suspect that this bout will do little more than make him look like a fraud, a real shame considering that he has huge potential to be a star even if he is limited in terms of his skills.
(Image courtesy of http://www.goldenboypromotions.com)
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