By Ryan Maquiñana
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Middleweight contender Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (30-1, 18 KOs) returned to the win column Wednesday night with a shutout unanimous decision victory over Fulgencio Zuniga (26-9-1, 23 KOs) at the Barker Hangar.
However, what the judges’ scorecards won’t show is that N’Dam, from France by way of Cameroon, hurt his left bicep in the fourth frame and was forced to use his right hand almost exclusively for the rest of the 10-round bout.
“I ruptured my bicep in the fourth round, but my hand is OK,” N’Dam told BoxingScene.com after the win. “But I knew I could fight smart and beat him with my right hand.”
N’Dam boxed expertly, anticipated the shopworn veteran’s advances and countered Zuniga all night with right hands from various angles. Though he could only paw with the occasional left jab, it was clear N’Dam was fighting with an inspired intensity based on a recent tragedy.
“My father died last week,” N’Dam said. “It was hard but I fight for him.”
With entertainment mogul Michael King promoting him and Gary Hyde managing him now, N’Dam hopes to pay tribute to his late father by regaining a piece of the 160-pound world title by the end of the year -- if his bicep recovers in time.
“I have Michael King promoting me, and I want to fight all the best middleweights,” N’Dam said. “I’d love to fight (Gabriel) Rosado first, then GGG (Gennady Golovkin) for the title.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.com or follow him on [email protected] .