Ruenroeng defeats Zou; Tapia wipes out Dawson
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming, came up short in his first attempt at a world title as he received a unanimous decision loss to IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng. All three official ringside judges were in accordance, turning in scorecards of 116-111 in favor of Ruenroeng. It was the headliner of a Top Rank Promotions card at the Cotai Arena Venetian Macao Resort in Macau, China. A taped matinee broadcast was shown on HBO2 on Saturday afternoon.
It was a technical fight between two skilled boxers with much respect for one another. With the stronger jab of the two, Ruenroeng used it effectively when Zou failed to come forward. Perhaps the reasoning behind the Chinese star’s hesitance was the accurate counterpunching coming from his Thai opponent. Ruenroeng really portrayed this game plan effectively after suffering a knockdown from Zou in the second round. Off-balance after throwing a punch, Ruenroeng was (kind of) dropped by a left hand from Zou and ruled a knockdown by referee Mark Nelson. Despite being a somewhat questionable knockdown, it didn’t faze Amnat and even seemed to have reset him into focus. Zou would have sporadic moments landing clean punches that would have his home country react cheerfully but the accurate jab and effective counterpunching from Ruenroeng couldn’t be ignored despite coming during moments of silence. There was worry that Ruenroeng could have trouble convincing the judges at ringside because of that notion but fortunately Glenn Feldman, Robert Hoyle and Jerry Jakubco were competent.
Neither fighter was ever visibly hurt in the contest; in fact, both could be seen flashing smiles at each other as the chess match ostensibly showed both men having fun in the ring. Ruenroeng, 15-0 (5), successfully defends his 112-pound IBF title for the third time and his win over Zou may be his biggest to date, considering its exposure. Zou, 6-1 (1), suffers the first defeat in his nascent professional career but looked decent even in defeat. The added experience could be something positive for him as he starts over in his quest for a world title.
Tapia stops Dawson
Junior middleweight Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia looked impressive against Australian Daniel Dawson, getting a victory via third round technical knockout. The stoppage came when Tapia had Dawson trapped in a corner and the latter was unwilling to throw any return fire, forcing referee Mark Nelson to wave off the bout. Beforehand, Tapia solidified himself with a strong jab in the preceding rounds and kept Dawson tentative, giving himself the liberty to comfortably stand in the pocket while throwing fluid combinations. In that third round, those combos started to consistently snap Dawson’s head back and Tapia broke him down by mixing in body shots that ultimately trapped him in the corner.
Tapia, 23-1 (15), gets his third straight TKO victory after suffering a brutal knockout loss to James Kirkland in Dec. of 2013. The beating from Kirkland was a major speed bump for the 25-year-old Top Rank prospect and his three wins since have been against guys coming off a loss. Dawson, 40-5-1 (26), who almost upset Austin Trout last August, suffers his second loss in a row.