It's fair to say that Wang Zhimin (11-3, 3)* has failed to live up to the expectations some had for him when he turned professional a few years ago. He has shown touches of real talent, but rarely managed to really shine as we had all hoped, given his strong amateur background.
Today however Zhimin did put it all together in a dominant display against experienced Indonesian Hero Tito (27-14-2, 11)* in a bout that saw the Chinese fighter successfully defend the WBC Asian Boxing Council Lightweight title.
From the very early stages Zhimin applied pressure to Tito, let his punches go in bunches and troubled Tito in almost every round with his accurate combinations. Not only was he good offensively but Zhimin also defended himself well whilst cutting the distance with a strong guard that allowed him to back up the Indonesian visitor.
Whilst Zhimin was in charge credit goes to Tito for once again showing that he isn't one of those Indonesian fighters who travels to take a quick pain-free loss. Instead he stood in and tried to fire back at Zhimin, creating some distance to get his own shots off and try to fight back. He was rarely doing enough to win a round but was doing more than just surviving.
In the second half of the fight Zhimin slowed down, picking his shots a touch more and landed some very good body shots. Whilst this gave Tito some more chances to fire his own shots off it did lead to Zhimin becoming a touch more negative, as he almost seemed to accept he wasn't going to be able to close this show. This gave him a chance to to show a smarter side to his boxing, but he looked like he just got a tough too comfortable towards the end. There was however a few moments in round 10 when Zhimin did try and take Tito out, but was unable to finish off the gutsy Indonesian.
Whilst this was much better from Zhang, who always looked in control and was often the aggressor, his lack of power did leave the bout meandering to a decision the final few rounds, when the decision was in the bag for the talented local. At 32 he probably isn't going to improve too much, but with his style can certainly be in some pretty entertaining contests at the regional level, if matched properly.
For Tito his role as an international level journeyman is a clear one, and today he proved he was good enough to continue to pick up pay days and push prospects, though is unlikely to beat anyone with real talent.
Chinese trio pick up titles!
Earlier today fight fans, worldwide, had the chance to tune into a Chinese stream on the Sina website. The card wasn't a huge one but it did feature 3 title bouts, all of which were won by Chinese fighters who may find themselves moving towards bigger and better fights later this year.
The highest profile of the bouts was a Heavyweight clash that saw Zhang Zhilei (14-0, 10) [张志磊] make light work of Australian Peter Graham (11-4-1, 5), and claim the WBO Oriental Heavyweight title. Graham had talked the talk before the bout but was down twice in the opening round, and stopped in the final seconds of the round.
Another unbeaten Chinese hopeful picking up a title was Meng Fanlong (10-0, 7) [孟繁龙], who easily saw off Gasan Gasanov (12-5-1, 10) to claim the WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight title. Gasanov had been in good form, winning his last 4 by stoppage, but failed to last even a round with Fanlong who needed just 112 seconds to score the stoppage. Sadly for the Russian this was his 5th stoppage loss, and it seems clear that he hasn't got the toughness to take a shot, despite having some decent power of his own.
The most interesting of the title bouts saw Wang Zhimin (8-1, 3) [王志敏] claim a wide decision win over Thai Patomsith Pathompothong (16-7, 6) [ปฐมสิทธิ์ เกษตรพัฒนา], to claim the WBO Oriental Super Lightweight title. Zhimin dropped the Thai in round 3 then went on to dominate the fight with the Thai failing to even claim a share of a round en route to a decision that saw Zhimin win with cards of 100-89, from all 3 judges.
(Image courtesy of Sina)
It seems that the past few days have started to see us getting more and more good fights announced, confirmed and set. One such bout is set for September 23rd in the US and will see China's unbeaten Wang Zhimin (7-0, 3) battle against the heavy handed Ivan Baranchyk (11-0, 10), an American based Russian, for the USBA Light Welterweight title.
Zhimin, 30, began his professional career back in January 2015 and has already shown an ability to do 8 rounds in his short career. Although a relatively unproven professional, having beaten no one of any note, he was a stand out amateur and also impressed in the WSB, where he was one of the more accomplished Chinese fighters. This is a major step up in class for him,but one he will believe he's capable of making given that he has proven himself in the WSB and scarcely dropped a round as a professional. In fact in many ways he might see this bout as a chance to prove himself rather than remain hidden and over-looked.
Aged 23 Baranchyk is a relative boxing baby and has amazingly fought just 22 rounds since making his debut in June 2014. Despite the lack of rounds he has impressed stopping 10 of his 11 foes in 4 or fewer rounds. He was pegged as a star early on and was thrown into a 10 rounder on debut in Belarus and has already claimed the Belarus Welterweight and the USNBC Light Welterweight titles. His only bout to go the fistance was his third professional bout, a 4 round win against Alfonso Olvera in US, and notably he has never gone beyond 4 rounds, leaving some to question stamina. Despite those questions his power is legit and his last 3 opponents lasted a combined 5 rounds, and they entered a combined 34-0-4 (21) showing the level the young Russian has been fighting at in recent bouts.
The bout will be held in Oklahoma and is one of 3 a triple header of notable bouts that should provide the fans in attendance with some great action.
At the end of March we reported that China's Xiong Zhao Zhong (26-6-1, 14) [熊朝忠] would be in action on May 25th in Beijing, on a card that will be headlined by the rematch between Amnat Ruenroeng (17-0, 5) [อำนาจ รื่นเริง] and Johnriel Casimero (21-3, 13).
Yesterday we learned that Zhong had had his opponent named, and that the card it's self is coming together with an interesting under-card of Chinese fighter.
Zhong's opponent in his IBF Minimumweight title eliminator will be Colombian fighter Jose Antonio Jimenez (16-5-1, 7), who had previously been mentioned as a possible opponent for Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr.
The Colombian fighter has a less than great record, though has rebuilt following a 10-5 (3) start. In fact since the end of 2013, when he was beaten by Ramon Garcia Hirales in Mexico, he has gone 6-0-1. Saying that however his competition has has been weak and those last 7 bouts have all come in his homeland, where he's been facing domestic competition, and sometimes struggling with them
For Zhong the bout will be his first since he was beaten by APB star Lu Bin in an exhibition style bout for CCTV5 over the Chinese New Year. He's looking to build on his recent role as an IBF ambassador and will be hoping to earn another world title fight, in fact he's hoping to become China's first 2-time world champion.
As for the under-card it's already had 4 Chinese fighters added to it, though none of them have had opponents named. Those fighters include Zong Ju Cai (6-1, 1) [蔡宗菊], who is said to be involved in a possible world title eliminator, Olympic medal winner Zhang Zhilei (8-0, 5) [张志磊], who is fighting in China for the second time as a professional, Fanlong Meng (6-0, 4) and Zhimin Wang (5-0, 2).
Amnat Ruenroeng Vs Johnriel Casimero set for May 25th!
(Image courtesy of sports.sina.com.cn)
This weekend certainly isn't a huge one for fans of Asian boxing but there is some bits and bobs to be interested in. Two such bouts come from Oakland where two promising Chinese fighters will be in action.
One of those fighters is Light Heavyweight hopeful Meng Fanlong (1-0) who will be looking to build on his debut win as he battles against Albert Avina (0-3). The 27 year old Southpaw is tipped as a hopeful though some do question how far he can really go, especially given that he's now 27 and hasn't been particularly busy since since signing his professional contract.
The other is Light Welterweight Wang Zhimin (2-0) who faces the more experienced Jose L Guzman (6-10-1) in an interesting 6 rounder. Zhimin is viewed as a genuine prospect with a lot to be excited following his successful campaign in the 2011 World Series of Boxing.
Ahead of these bouts we were sent a video of Zhimin's training day session courtesy of @lukieboxing.For those interested here is that video of Zhimin training courtesy of the ITRboxing boxing channel.
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