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Zou Shiming stops Natan Coutinho Santana

By Chris Williams: #7 IBF, #7 WBO, #9 WBC flyweight contender Zou Shiming (7-1, 2 KOs) got back to his winning ways in defeating 21-year-old Brazilian Natan Coutinho Santana (12-1, 10 KOs) a rare 8th round knockout victory on Saturday night to capture the vacant WBO International flyweight title at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.

The 34-year-old Shiming hurt the much younger Santana with flurry of shots in the 8th round. Shiming then landed at will until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:34 of the round.

For Shiming, he was able to rebound from his 12 round unanimous loss IBF World flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng last March 2015 in Macau, China. Shiming was totally dominated by the harder punching Ruenroeng in that fight.

Shiming’s win over Santana proves little. Shiming didn’t win a major title with the win, as Santana was little more than a 12-fight novice going into the fight and very young at only 21. Shiming’s problem is he doesn’t have much punching power, and he’s in a division that is ruled by WBC champion Roman Gonzalez and WBA/WBO champion Juan Francisco Estrada.

Shiming would likely be knocked out by both of those fighters. The 36-year-old Ruenroeng was Shiming’s best chance to win a world title, and the fact that he couldn’t even best him suggests that Shiming will need to be satisfied with just being a contender in the division rather than a world champion.

“I’ve taken ten months off to rest, spend time with my family and even found a little reality TV fame, but my heart never left the ring,” Zou said to Yahoo Sports after the fight. “Today I fought patiently and got into a rhythm. (Coutinho) is young and has a powerful right hand, but once I got into a rhythm I was able to control the fight.”

Shiming fought like usually does in boxing and doing a lot of showboating around the ring. He showed no punching power whatsoever in the fight. The only reason Shiming got the stoppage was because he was in against a guy that only 21-years-old and limited talent. Shiming wasn’t in with a good fighter, because if he was, he likely would have been beaten again.

Shiming’s 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is talking about wanting to put him in a world title fight in the near future. That’s probably not a good idea unless Arum wants to drop him down to light flyweight. If Arum throws Shiming in with Roman Gonzalez or Estrada, it’s going to be a sick massacre with Shiming getting blasted out quickly. Those guys are so much better than Shiming in my view.

“I really want to test Zou again with another top contender in the Spring. If he passes that, we will have him fight for a world championship by the end of the year,” Arum said to Yahoo Sports.

If Arum really wants to put Shiming in a world title fight, then he needs to have him move down to light flyweight and put him in with WBO champion Donnie Nietes and hope for the best. I see Nietes knocking Shiming out and winning an easy fight. However, I doubt that Shiming will move down in weight. He’ll take on the likes of Roman Gonzalez, Estrada or Amnat Ruenroeng, and he’ll get dominated. Arum might have Shiming go after WBA “regular” flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and hope for the best. I think Ioka will blast Shiming out just like Estrada and Gonzalez would. Ioka is coming off of an impressive 11th round knockout over Juan Carlos Reveco last December. The only loss that Ioka has was a 12 round split decision defeat at the hands of Ruenroeng in May 2014. Ioka did a much better job against Ruenroeng than Shiming did.

Shiming was a good fighter in the Olympics despite the fact that he won two controversial gold medals for his country. His lack of punching power wasn’t a problem for him in the amateur ranks, but as a pro, it’s very clear that Shiming just doesn’t have the punching power to excel at this level.


In other fights on the card, 2012 Olympic middleweight gold medalist Ryota Murata (9-0, 6 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a 2nd round knockout over journeyman Gaston Vega (24-11-1, 10 KOs). The 30-year-old Murata dropped Vega in the 2nd round. The fight was then stopped. Murata also knocked Vega down in the 1st round.

Other boxing results on the card

Zulpikar Maimaitiali TKO 3 Steve Moxon
Ma Yiming SD 6 Jayar Diama
Abdallah Paziwapazi TKO 3 Andrey Kalyuzhnyy

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