by Ronnie Nathanielsz
China crowned its first world champion in an historic fight card when Xiong Zhao Zhong won the vacant World Boxing Council minimumweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Mexico’s Javier Martinez Resendiz at the Kunming City Stadium in Kunming, China.
Watching the fight at ringside was mandatory challenger Denver Cuello of the Philippines along with his promoter/manager/trainer Aljoe Jaro.
Cuello stepped aside at the request of WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman who was eager to get China into the mainstream of professional boxing for which Sulaiman expressed his greatitude to Jaro and committed that Cuello would fight the winner early next year.
Aljoe Jaro said even before the fight that no matter who won the hard-hitting Cuello would win the world title when they clash.
The 25 year old Cuello has a record of 32-4-6 with 21 knoxckouts and is coming off a ten round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Ivan Meneses in a fight where Cuello hurt his shoulder but has recovered well.
With the win Zhong improved to 20-4-1 with 11 knockouts while Resendiz dropped to 13-4-2 with 6 knockouts.
The bout was even in the first five or six rounds of give-and-take action but the Chinese fighter picked up the tempo and caught his Mexican opponent time and again with some solid blows and appeared to have him in trouble but couldn’t put him down although Martinez Resendiz suffered a cut over his eye.
All three judges - Hubert Minn (USA), Brian McMahon (Australia) and Noparat (Thailand) scored the fight for Zhong by margins of 116-114, 116-112 and a ridiculously lopsided 119-110.
The third man in the ring was internationally respected referee Bruce McTavish, a New Zealander who has made his home in Angeles City in the Philippines.
McTavish told the Manila Stadard from China, "it was a great fight."