Zou beats Kwan­pichit for first world pro ti­tle

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LAS VE­GAS: Two-time Olympic gold medal­ist Zou Shim­ing claimed the va­cant World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion fly­weight ti­tle with a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion vic­tory over Kwan­pichit Onesongchaigym in a re­match on Satur­day.

The 35-year-old from China eas­ily out­pointed Kwan­pichit, win­ning on all three judges score­cards to cap­ture his first world ti­tle. Two judges had it 120-107 while the other scored it 119-108. “Now my dream is com­plete,” said Zou. “I am a pro champ, Olympic champ and world cham­pion.” The Zou-Kwan­pichit fight opened an im­pres­sive three-ti­tle un­der­card for Manny Pac­quiao’s come­back fight against Jessie Var­gas at the Thomas & Mack Cen­ter in Las Ve­gas. In one of those ti­tle bouts, Jessie Mag­daleno seized the WBO ju­nior feath­er­weight ti­tle with a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over for­mer cham­pion Nonito Don­aire of the Philip­pines. Zou, who won gold in 2008 at Bei­jing and 2012 in Lon­don, started quickly by win­ning the open­ing round and then knock­ing down the Thai in the sec­ond.

With a big size and reach ad­van­tage, Zou sent Kwan­pichit to the can­vas with a per­fectly timed right hook to the side of the head with about a minute to go in the round.

Zou im­proved to 9-1 with two knock­outs, with his only loss com­ing in his first ti­tle at­tempt when he lost to Am­nat Ruen­ro­eng in Ma­cau last year. Zou posted his sec­ond straight win over Kwan­pichit, pum­mel­ing the Thai to de­feat with a sim­i­lar unan­i­mous de­ci­sion vic­tory in Ma­cau two years ago. Kwan­pichit was rid­ing a two-year, 12bout win­ning streak since his sole loss to Zou.

All of his vic­to­ries dur­ing the streak had come by knock­out but he was un­able to close in on Zou, who used his su­pe­rior de­fen­sive skills to stay out of trou­ble.

Zou gave the Thai plenty of pun­ish­ment, es­pe­cially in the first half of the fight, when he used a steady jab and com­bi­na­tion punches to keep the more ag­gres­sive Kwan­pichit at bay. Zou landed a to­tal of 347 punches to just 107 for Kwan­pichit.


Mag­daleno beat the multi-di­vi­sion world cham­pion Don­aire in an en­ter­tain­ing fight that saw one judge score it 118-110 for Mag­daleno while the other two had the Amer­i­can win­ning 116-112. “I can’t be­lieve I won the ti­tle and I won it against a fighter like Don­aire,” said Mag­daleno. “I don’t have the words to de­scribe it.”

Un­de­feated Mag­daleno grew up in Las Ve­gas but was fight­ing with Mex­ico printed on his red and black trunks and was ser­e­naded by chants of “Mex­ico, Mex­ico” sev­eral times dur­ing the fight. Com­ing into the fight, Mag­daleno was the num­ber one con­tender, hav­ing won eight of his last 10 fights by knock­out. Don­aire suf­fered just the fourth loss of his ca­reer de­spite do­ing well at the end of rounds late in the fight. In the 10th, the Filipino wob­bled Mag­daleno with hard right punches at the be­gin­ning and end of the round. The two traded heavy blows in the 12th with the crowd on its feet for the fi­nal round. “We def­i­nitely won the fight. Los­ing never crossed my mind,” said Don­aire. “I never thought I could lose this. I had a great sec­ond half and I thought I con­troled the fight.”


LAS VE­GAS: Zou Shim­ing (R) throws a right at Pr­a­sit­sak Phaprom in the eighth round of their WBO fly­weight cham­pi­onship fight at the Thomas & Mack Cen­ter on Satur­day in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada. Shim­ing won by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion.

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