“I want more Chinese to pay attention to boxing and like boxing because of me”—Ik Yang
Slowly but surely, China is beginning to have an impact on the global scene of professional boxing. Two recent examples over the last five months help clearly illustrate this point. The first happened November 24 of last year when Xiong Zhao Zhong made history as he defeated Javier Martinez Resendiz by unanimous decision to claim the vacant WBC Minimumweight Championship, giving him the unique distinction of becoming the first Chinese boxer to ever win a major world title. The other occurred just over a week ago when two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner Zou Shiming reportedly earned an astounding $300,000 for his professional debut, a victorious four round contest that was broadcast virtually everywhere in China. The fact that these two success stories unfolded at a time when boxing was already experiencing growing popularity in China is surely no coincidence. Quite the contrary, when considering the noticeable momentum Chinese boxing has gathered since competing in its first Olympic Games in 1992, it is reasonable to believe that this trend will continue and we will inevitably see more and more Chinese talent (and champions) surface in the foreseeable future.
This past Friday another Chinese boxer made headway in a groundbreaking performance when lightweight Ik Yang (12-0, 8 KOs) defeated Mexican pugilist Ivan Zavala by second round knockout. What made this victory noteworthy according to Yang’s trainer and co-manager, Chauncy Welliver, was that “he just became the first Chinese fighter to win on US soil in almost 85 years—as far as I know he is the first Chinaman to do this since Harry Soo won his last fight in 1928, and I looked pretty deep into this”. Continue reading