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Oriental Dawn: An Emerging China In Boxing

By Zhenyu Li

China Boxing Open: A Rivalry Between China and Philippines
10 Apr 2010

It was a rivalry between the world's fastest growing force in the ring and the homeland of the world's undisputed pound for pound king in boxing. Yet, when the two fighters walked inside the square circle hours ago at the China Open, one would not have to rely on the judges to tell the difference.

China's boxing kingpin Shiming Zou brought his fellow flyweight Rey Saludar back to school at the on-going China Open when the two-time world champion swept the Filipino in a 10-0 shutout in the quarterfinal of the 3-star AIBA event in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China on Thursday.

Despite winning in a breezy fashion, the Chinese showed class to his Philippine competitor.

"He fought well," Zou remarked in regard to Rey Saludar after the bout. "I'm not too familiar with this fighter, but the Philippines has a strong boxing tradition. Fighters from that country are mostly quite competitive."

It was Zou’s first showing in the China Open, and as a Guizhou native, also his first appearance competing in international tournament of such caliber in his hometown.

"It's not as easy as expected, fighting in hometown," Zou said. "Not only do you have to win the match, but also you need to win big and put on a brilliant show."

His performance was brilliant, as shiny as the golden robe he was wearing.

The two boxers started out probing each other, yet Zou was the first to take the aggressive stance. He concluded the first round with four decisive clean punches.

Trailing by four points, Saludar started off strong going into the second, but haste makes waste. He was countered over and over again by the masterful Chinese counter-puncher. When the round ended, Zou led, 7-0.

Taking a huge lead in the final stanza, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist seemed completely relaxed. He held his hands so low that they almost dropped behind his back. Nevertheless, Saludar was still unable to score a single point over the ghostly Chinese technician. Zou grabbed another four points to get his solo show wrapped up.

The final score rested on 10-0, in favor of the Chinese.

Next, the grand slam champion Zou is about to fight against the Olympic silver medalist Andris Laffita Hernandez of Cuba later in the day. It would be the final showdown before the final. The winner of the two is more than likely to be crowned at the top-level international boxing tournament.

Top photo: Shiming Zou of China (red) competes against Rey Saludar of the Philippines during a quarterfinal showdown of the inaugural China Open Boxing Tournament in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou province, on Thursday.

* * *

As a Beijing-based bilingual sports and culture writer with the People's Daily in China, Zhenyu Li has covered a wide range of topics, including the international cultural exchange affairs, cultural creative industry and sports business, yet his main thrust is combat sport. A contributing columnist for such publications as (U.K.) and (U.S.), Li is committed to bring the boxing coverage of the best quality fights from China.

Click here for a complete listing of columns by this author.

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