March 7th, 2015
It was another great fight night in Macau at the Venetian Arena for the Showdown at Sands!
The night at the Venetian had three title bouts on the card with Zou ShiMing fighting for the IBF flyweight belt against Amnat Ruenroeng along with a slue of other smaller title fights with lots of fan favourites that made this evening a very special night for local fans here in Hong Kong and Macau as well as for our Mainland China brothers and sisters across the border.
Ismael Garnica (MEX)(13-5-1) vs Aston Palicte (PHI) (17-1)
Surprisingly the crowd was thick by the time this first bout got underway and it seemed that there was a lot more cheering than normal as well for two fighters that the crowd most likely hadn’t heard of.
It was a pretty decent fight from the opening bell. Palicte though was pretty much in control of the whole thing from the gate and earned himself a TKO about midway through the 7th round over Garnica. I think that we will be seeing him again at the Venetian on future cards.
The second bout was about as weak of a fight that you could possibly witness. It was between Raymond Sermona (PHI)(17-4-5) and Jose Felix Jr. (MEX)(29-1) 24 KOs.
So the opening bell ‘dings’ and about 80 seconds later you see Felix hit Sermona with an overhand right that literally brushed the top of Sermona’s head. Sermona went down and didn’t get back up. I’ve been around enough boxing in my life to know exactly what that was. Without saying anything that discredits either boxer, I’ll just leave it as it was ‘weak’.
Bring in the dancers. Bring in the lip-syncing singers. Bring in K.K. Ng Kuok Kun (The Macau Kid) 7-0. K.K. had this dance crew and singers in his last fight on the undercard of the Pacquiao fight as well. I guess they are a package deal now.
K.K. fought Chingchai Kiatpracha (THAI) (7-2) in what was K.K.’s 7th fight of his career. Kiatpracha was a bit taller than K.K. with a bit more reach and had partially bleached blond hair that was tied in a pony-tail in the back.
By this time, the crowd was feeling good. They were now seeing someone that they knew and Macau was being represented. As the bell rang you could see after a few punches by Kiatpracha that he was a bit unorthodoxed in his style. Then all of a sudden— Boom — K.K. goes down. But have no fear, K.K. got back up and it was what he needed to get him feeling like he had to punish the guy.
In the 2nd round Kiatpracha was smiling at K.K. after exchanges and that was firing up K.K., but he kept his composure quite well and finished the round well.
As the 3rd round got going and a few exchanges took place, you could see that K.K. was clearly in control and 2-3 combinations later Kiatpracha was knocked out and not getting back up inside the 10 count. It was a great win for The Macau Kid and for Macau as well. We are really looking forward to seeing K.K. on the July 18th card and he will surely rise up the ranks and continue to become a really good fighter in the future.
Are you ready HONG KONG???!!! That’s right, Rex ‘The Wonder Kid’ Tso Sing Yu (16-0) was up next and going against Michael ‘Blade’ Enriquez (10-3-1) from the Phillipines.
This fight was extremely important for Rex as he had just signed a 2 year fight deal with Top Rank Boxing and it was for the WBA International Super Flyweight Title. Also, by winning this fight Rex will be fighting for a world title in his next fight on July 18th against Japan’s Kohei Kono.
After the introductions, the fight got going and for the first few rounds they were just punching the hell out of each other. They both were landing good combos and standing mostly in the middle of the ring just going at it. Rex was winning each round but maybe did so by connecting on only 2 or 3 more punches than Enriquez.
By the start of the 4th round they were well adjusted to each other and after a 3-4 punch combination Enriquez goes down. A wet canvas might have helped that to have happened but nevertheless the ref was counting and got to a standing 8 count before letting them finish the round.
For the remainder of the fight, each and every round was both of them just standing inside each other trading close shots. Both were getting some good cracking shots at times and I believe that this was the most that Rex had been hit so far in his career and you could see the evidence piling up on his swollen face.
Rex got taken out of his style. He has really long arms for being only 5’7″ (170cm) and in all of his previous fights, he has used that length well and played that with his good hand speed and decent foot work to keep his opponents at bay with a good classic hit-and-move strategy. This fight was a real true test and he showed great fortitude in handling this very good fighter in Enriquez.
Rex won by a unanimous decision after 10 hard fought rounds over Enriquez but the ‘Blade’ will also be back in Macau in the near future because he gave a hell of a fight.
Skipping over a few other fights, we get to the 7th fight on an 8 fight card.
Ik Yang from China at 19-0 with 14 of those coming by way of knock-out is always a highlight to watch. Ik was going against Patomsuk Pathompothong (29-2-1) of Thailand.
Ik has fought in Macau 3 previous times before this fight and all were KOs and all were very entertaining. This guy has a great personality and loves to play to the crowd. Sometimes you come across fighters that just enjoy getting their opponent to the brink of being knocked out and mess with their mind a bit before delivering that final combination or punch that finishes the fight. Ik is one of those kind of fighters.
Ik played with Pathompothong for 5 rounds with yet another boxer from Thailand smiling right before he got knocked out. Ik secured a nice KO in the 6th. I’m very eager to see Ik come back to the Venetian for another fight. Let’s see if he will be on the July 18th card.
The Main Event IBF World Flyweight Title
Zou Shi Ming (6-1) vs Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0)
This fight was a fight that was hard to watch in a way. I never thought that Zou should be fighting for a title so quickly into his professional career. I know, I know… Zou has been a boxer for a lot of years but there is a major difference between amateur and professional. The style in which you fight as an amateur and more so as an Olympic amateur is based on a point system and therefore you are not going after your opponent in the same way. Zou has had enough hits to the head that the removal of head gear isn’t too much of a factor after a few fights.
I do think that Zou can be a champion but he needs a few more tune up fights first before he goes after that belt. The fighter in the other corner of Ruenroeng learned how to fight while serving a prison sentence in Thailand. If anyone has read/heard of or has first hand knowledge of Thai prisons, should know that they are notoriously known for their harsh conditions and that is a far cry from coming up in a sports school in China learning to be an amateur boxer. Though I still hold the belief that Zou will become a great fighter if he is able to make the turn into becoming a professional with professional abilities and tactics.
As for the fight itself, Zou was out classed the whole way through and didn’t really win one round in my opinion and in the opinion of the judges who gave an unanimous decision to the belt holder of Ruenroeng.
Overall it was still a really good evening of fights. Top Rank is top class in how they organise their events. Also, the Venetian Macau does well by its customers and I also enjoy myself very much at all of their events.
July 18th will be the next night of fights at the Venetian Macau and it will be filled with most of the fighters from March 7th’s card. More titles will be won and more fun will be had. I hope to see even more Hong Kongers and Macauers there for this one.
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