Sports / China

China's Zou defeats unbeaten Thai

( Updated: 2014-11-23 13:27

China's Zou defeats unbeaten Thai

Zou Shiming of China celebrates his victory over Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym of Thailand during their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) 12-round welterweight title fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macao November 23, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

China's Zou Shiming defeated Thailand's No 1-ranked Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym in their International Boxing Federation flyweight title eliminator after 12 rounds of fighting at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macao on Sunday, giving him a guaranteed a shot at world champion Amnat Ruenroeng in 2015.

Taking advantage of his fast movement, China's two-time Olympic gold medal winner led the fight for most of the time although he was hit hard several times by Kwanpichit on the head and won with a bleeding right brow bridge and a somewhat disfigured face.

"My eye really bothered me but I fought through it," Zou said. "It was the toughest fight I ever had."

Zou, who won gold medals in the Beijing and London Olympics, joined fellow double gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine as big winners on the card at the Venetian Macao. He remained unbeaten as a pro in a fight that paid him $700,000.

Kwanpichit went down three times, was penalized for a low blow, and was warned for head butts as he tried to pull an upset. But he was beaten 119-106 on two scorecards and 120-103 on the third.

"Zou's punching speed and strength were already exceeding my expectations in the first week of training camp and he's only gotten stronger and faster since," said Freddie Roach, Hall of Fame trainer, who also oversees Pacquiao's corner, before the match.

This is Zou's first 12-round and Kwanpichit is far more experienced. Both men are 33, but the unbeaten Thai has logged 165 pro rounds to Zou's 33.

Promoters said that if Zou won, he would headline a Feb. 14 fight card in Macao in a 112-pound title bout, though it will probably now be later because his cut will need time to heal.

"I want to fight for the world title," Zou said. "I want to win it for China, do it right here."

Lomachenko, fighting in only his fourth pro bout, looked skilled far beyond his experience as he overcame a broken left hand to win every round against veteran Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo of Thailand.

Lomachenko successfully defended his 126-pound title by knocking Piriyapinyo down in the fourth round and then using his right hand to pile up points in what turned into a lopsided contest.

"I want to fight nothing but champions," said Lomachenko, who won his title in his last fight after losing his first bid for a title in only his second pro fight.

Lomachenko won gold medals for Ukraine in 2008 and 2012 and was widely considered the top amateur boxer in the world before turning pro.

In another fight, Jessie Vargas of Las Vegas retained his 130-pound title with a hard-fought decision over Mexico's Antonio DeMarco.

Vargas dominated the early rounds, building up a cushion on the scorecards. But DeMarco came back midway through the fight to make it competitive before Vargas won the final two rounds.

Vargas, who remained unbeaten in 26 pro fights, won 116-112 on all three ringside scorecards. He was fighting with former boxing great Roy Jones Jr. working his corner as a trainer before moving across the ring to be a commentator on the HBO pay-per-view telecast.

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