By: William Holmes
HBO 2’s Boxing Card was broadcast this afternoon from Venetian Macau in China; Asia’s equivalent of America’s fight capital of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Freddie Roach trained and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (3-0) opened up the televised portion of the card against Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3) in the Flyweight division. Shiming was significantly older than Kokietgym and had vast more amateur experience. He was also taller, quicker, and bigger than his opponent.
The fight went as scripted. Shiming was using his reach and speed advantage well and bounced in and out of Kokietgym’s range with quick combinations. He also sitting down better on his punches in this bout and looked very confident.
As the rounds went on the damage Shiming inflicted on Kokietgym increased. The crowd also voiced their pleasure every time Shiming landed a punch. Kokietgym had a decent chin, but was seemingly landing one punch for every five punches Shiming landed. Kokietgym smiled at a combination from Shiming in the fifth round and shook his head as if to say he could take more, but he did not offer much of an offense.
Shiming had Kokietgym backing up away from his combinations in the sixth round. In the seventh round Shiming suddenly dropped Kokietgym with a two punch combination. Kokietgym was able to get up at the count of eight and knocked Shiming down with a straight right hand to Shiming’s head. The referee however ruled it a slip.
Shiming knocked Kokietgym down again with another straight left hand when he got back to his feet and Kokietgym looked more dazed than before. Shiming pressed forward with his attack and Kokietgym went down immediately and his towel threw in the corner.
Zou Shiming remained undefeated with a TKO victory at 2:09 of the seventh round.
The main event of the day was between Miguel Vazquez (33-3) and the Russian southpaw Denis Shafikov (33-0) for the IBF Lightweight Title.
Shafikov was significantly shower than Vazquez and needed to get the fight in tight to work his game plan. But Vazquez fought his typical fight, and stayed on the outside and stuck and move. Vazquez bounced in and out of Shafikov’s range all night and frustrated the Russian fighter.
Shafikov had a decent third round and could have won it on some scorecards because he landed some combinations to the body and had Vazquez trapped near the ropes a few times. Vazquez suffered a cut over his left eye in the fourth round, but was able to re-establish his range a preferred pace and retook control of the bout.
Vazquez won a majority, if not all of the middle to late rounds by fighting his typical style of fight. Shafikov suffered a cut over his right eye in the seventh round and that cut got worse as the fight went into the championship rounds.
The crowd was nearly comatose for the championship rounds as Vazquez coasted to a comfortable decision. The final scores were 115-113, 116-112, 119-109 for Miguel Vazquez.