Olympic champ Zou takes world title

Zou Shiming (right) throws a right at Prasitsak Phaprom in the eighth round of their WBO flyweight championship fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on Nov 5, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Zou Shiming (right) throws a right at Prasitsak Phaprom in the eighth round of their WBO flyweight championship fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on Nov 5, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada.PHOTO: AFP

LAS VEGAS • Two-time Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming claimed the vacant World Boxing Organisation (WBO) flyweight title with a victory by unanimous decision over Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym in a rematch on Saturday.

The 35-year-old from China easily outpointed Kwanpichit, winning on all three judges' scorecards to capture his first world title.

Two judges had it 120-107 while the other scored it 119-108.

"Now my dream is complete," said Zou. "I am a pro champ, Olympic champ and world champion."

The Zou-Kwanpichit fight opened an impressive three-title undercard for Manny Pacquiao's comeback fight against Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Centre in Las Vegas.

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Now my dream is complete. I am a pro champ, Olympic champ and world champion.

ZOU SHIMING, China's 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist who is the new WBO flyweight champion.

In one of those title bouts, Jessie Magdaleno seized the WBO junior featherweight title with a unanimous decision over former champion Nonito Donaire of the Philippines.

Zou, who won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and in London four years later, started quickly by winning the opening round and then knocking down the Thai in the second.

With a big size and reach advantage, Zou sent Kwanpichit to the canvas with a perfectly timed right hook to the side of the head with about a minute to go in the round.

Zou improved to 9-1 with two knockouts, with his only loss coming in his first title attempt when he lost to Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng in Macau last year.

He posted his second straight win over Kwanpichit, pummelling the Thai to defeat with a similar unanimous decision victory in Macau two years ago.

Kwanpichit was riding a two-year, 12-bout winning streak since his sole loss to Zou.

All of his victories during the streak had come by knockout but he was unable to close in on Zou, who used his superior defensive skills to stay out of trouble.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Olympic champ Zou takes world title'. Print Edition | Subscribe