Zou beats Kwanpichit for first world pro title
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.
DONAIRE, OSAWA DEFEATED
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.