Sports / Stars

Chinese boxer Zou scores a win in US debut match

By WILLIAM HENNELLY in New York ( Updated: 2016-06-12 11:32

Chinese boxer Zou scores a win in US debut match

Zou Shiming (left) and Jozsef Ajtai exchange punches in their Flyweight bout on June 11, 2016 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. [Photo/]

Zou Shiming made the best of his US debut on Saturday night local time at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Zou, 35, the World Boxing Organization international flyweight champion, scored a 10-round unanimous decision over 19-year-old Jozsef Ajtai of Hungary.

"I thought after warming up in the first round, he would attack. But until the 10th round, it seemed like his aim was not victory but finishing the fight, that's all," Zou said afterward.

"The win should be celebrated, but it doesn't meet the target I set in my heart," Zou said. "This was my first fight in the US, and it gave me a chance to fight for the golden belt in a match at the end of this year, which is absolutely the most important for me," he said.

"I'll say today's fight is more like a warm-up, which gave me experience fighting overseas, to help me train in a more targeted way," Zou said. "Hopefully, I can perform well in the next fight at the end of the year."

Zou, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for China, seemed frustrated at times during the fight, stalking the energetic Ajtai through most of it. Zou's best round was probably the eighth, when he landed two left uppercuts and a right cross. Zou also scored well in the third round.

Still, the younger fighter never seemed hurt in the fight, but didn't pursue Zou with any menace. Zou also closed off the ring well.

The crowd booed some of the action, as Ajtai frequently held Zou. Some of the Chinese fans chanted "Zouuuu", offsetting some of the boos.

Jiang Sicheng, a staff member at New York University, was holding a Chinese flag. Jiang said he has followed Zou for several years and bought his tickets early.

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