Saturday, July 19, 2014

Zou Shiming Can't Help His Nature VS Luis De La Rosa

Today, Chinese star athlete and arrived prospect of the professional Flyweight Division, Zou Shiming, was seemingly at odds with the desire to pace himself for 10 professional boxing rounds in only his fifth professional fight. At odds, because, well, Shiming seems to be a showman with a work ethic that matches his Chinese background. His style is that of a risk-taking volume puncher. Combination punching with all the speed you need, over and over. He likes to work. He likes to fight. He smiles. He throws, he moves. He's light on his feet. Well-coordinated, catlike reflexes, dynamic combinations, a superb athlete is Shiming. He reminds me, in some ways, regardless of how far he may or may not go in the sport, of Manny Pacquiao. The pre-politics Manny Pacquiao. The raw talent Pacquiao. He fights with relish. It would be hard for me not to like that.

Luis De La Rosa landed some very, very big shots, though he arguably didn't win a round. Shiming smiled at those shots. His nose bloodied at some point, but still most of the blood on Shiming was from De La Rosa's eye, as a result of an official accidental headbutt, but more than aggravated by Shiming's fists. Larry Merchant was on call for this terrifically atmospheric Macau card, like the last with Shiming on HBO. As always, he found a gem of a line for Shiming, whose four other contests Larry is said to have also watched. Larry's line, during the tenth and final round was "In the famous, ancient Chinese Art of War, one of the first sayings is, is that the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Obviously, Shiming never read that."

Larry's comment was perfect. De La Rosa was punished for every big shot he landed on Shiming. His face turning slowly into that of a stereotypical fighter, bloody cut, cauliflowered ear too, I think. He was dominated. And yet, Shiming worked hard, never made it easy on himself, perhaps underutilising his quick, snappy jab, but always taking risks to land more punches than he really needed to, to win. Shiming has a tremendously unpredictable arsenal of punches. He's as unpredictable from moment to moment as he is busy. I did not envy De La Rosa's task. But I do admire Shiming's work ethic and showmanship. I don't know if he is truly capable of coasting in a fight like this, especially this early in his career, but he never tried to find out either. This is something we can appreciate as viewers. Zou Shiming is a natural showman who keeps fighting hard, whether he needs to or not, to the last bell.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

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