China’s Taishan Dong faced the toughest challenge of his young professional boxing career Friday night as he opened the Fox Sports 1 broadcast of another “Golden Boy Live” card. The 6’11” giant clearly won the fight to go 3-0 (2KO), but his opponent Roy McCrary, now 3-3 (3KO), proved that Taishan has much, much, much to learn.
McCrary, of Memphis Tennessee, used lateral movement to stay out of harm’s way, occasionally lunging in with a wide left hook. Taishan couldn’t seem to the cut the ring off or be consistently effective with his right hand.
He also ate several hard shots from his opponent, mostly the before mentioned left hook. When McCrary did connect, “The Great Wall” took the punches well and seemed to respond with a mean streak, immediately firing back with bad intentions.
Trainer Buddy McGirt implored his charge to use the left hook, as their opponent seemed to be completely focused on avoiding the right hand. To his credit Taishan took the direction and began throwing the left, but with limited success. The giant, who towered over his opponent, spent much of the four round bout following McCrary around the ring. He did manage to put him down twice, but they were awkward knock downs off glancing blows. “The Great Wall” pawed with his jab in attempts to set up a TV friendly knockout blow, but just couldn’t find it. In the end Taishan heard the final bell for the first time in his career, winning a decision on all three judges’ scorecards. It was a good lesson for the heavyweight experiment, who learned that sometimes a KO artist has to hunt down their opponent to land the big shot, and that requires the ability to cut off the ring.
If you haven’t heard of Taishan by now, he’s a project. The Beijing native had plenty of experience in martial arts back in his homeland, dabbling in kickboxing and muay thai (about 40 total fights). After relocating to America a couple years ago, he thought about trying his hand at boxing. Through manager George Gallegos, a lawyer by trade, he hooked up with Buddy McGirt last summer to learn how to box. The former champion fighter turned trainer tells stories about how Taishan couldn’t even hit the speed bag when he first walked into the gym, but when they hit mitts together in the ring and he felt the power, he knew he had something. McGirt credits Taishan for being a quick study and a dedicated athlete who works tirelessly on each new technique he introduces. Based on the results Friday night it’s clear Taishan has some good fighter instincts and can take a shot, but he needs a ton of work on cutting off the ring, angles, distance and timing.
For now the project continues, and “The Great Wall” pushes forward in his professional boxing endeavor.
Questions, comments, hate mail? You know what to do.