By: William Holmes
The Venetian Macau in Macau China hosted another Top Rank Card headlined by two time Olympic Gold Medalist and the pride of China, Zou “Fists of Gold” Shiming.
Two bouts were televised on HBO2 as “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia (22-1) took on the veteran Daniel Dawson (40-4-1) in the junior middleweight division.
Glen Tapia was riding a two fight win streak since his sixth round TKO loss to James Kirkland about fifteen months ago and Daniel Dawson lost a decision to Austin Trout in his last bout in August of 2014.
Tapia came out patient in the first two rounds as he fought cautiously and appeared to be willing to look for his spots. He was clearly the better in shape boxer and had the faster hand speed and power as Dawson was not able to offer much of an offense. It appeared that Tapia was already benefiting from being trained by Freddie Roach.
Tapia ended the fight in the third round when a couple of huge right hands had Dawson hurt badly. Dawson was unable to offer any punches in return and the referee jumped in to stop the bout.
Glen Tapia won the WBO/NABO Super Welterweight title with a TKO at 1:42 of the third round.
The main event of the night was between Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0) and Zou Shiming (6-0-1) for Ruenroeng’s IBF Flyweight Title.
This pair had fought each other three times in the amateurs, with Shiming winning two bouts and Ruenroeng only winning one, but Ruenroeng at this point has had a tougher professional career and had faced significantly better opposition than Shiming.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Ruenroeng landed the first combination of the night in the first round. Ruenroeng had a good first round as he was controlling the distance and pace and was sharp with his counter right.
Shiming scored a knockdown in the second round when he landed a left hook that caught an off balanced Ruenroeng by surprise and he was knocked down. Ruenroeng, however, wasn’t hurt and both boxers landed hard punches in the second round.
The third round clearly belonged to Ruenroeng as he controlled Shiming with his jab and stayed out of the range of Shiming’s punches. Ruenroeng was warned in the second round for throwing Shiming to the ground hard and for a low blow.
Ruenroeng keeps his distance in the fourth round and Shiming appears to start getting desperate by throwing wild ineffective haymakers. Zou had trouble keeping his footing in the fifth round and slipped twice. Shiming did land a good right hand this round, but Ruenroeng was still vastly more effective with his jab.
The sixth and seventh rounds unfortunately featured a lot of grappling and clash of heads and bodies, but it was Ruenroeng who was controlling the action with his jabs and straight right crosses. Shiming’s inability to land combinations continued in the eighth round and Ruenroeng was simply out-boxing the two time Olympic Gold Medalist.
Shiming had a better ninth round and started off strong, but Ruenroeng went back to his jab and he did better in the second half of the ninth round.
The tenth round was close and Ruenroeng could have been scored a knockdown in the eleventh round, but the referee ruled it was a slip.
Shiming clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win, but was unable to step on the gas pedal and mount an effective offense.
The biggest suspense of the night came at the end of the fight as we were left wondering if the judges would give the fight to the boxer who deserved or if they would give out a hometown decision.
Luckily for Ruenroeng, the judges scored the bout correctly, as he won on all three score cards 116-111.