By Jake Donovan
Xiong Zhao Zhong continues to add to China's boxing history, even if his latest feat came in a fight that had no business taking place.
The first-ever fighter from China to win a major title, Zhao Zhong scored a 5th round knockout of late sub Lookrak Kiatmungmee for the second defense of his 105 lb. belt Saturday evening in Maguan, China.
A perfectly placed left uppercut to the Kiatmungmee's midsection was enough to put him on his hands and knees. The referee waved off his count midway through after realizing the Thai challenger wasn't in a position to continue.
Zhao Zhong picks up his fourth straight victory as he improves to 22-4-1 (12KO). The win comes just over a year since his historic win over Mexico's Javier Resendiz last November to win the vacant 105 lb. title.
Saturday's win over over Kiatmungmee (7-5, 4KO) marks Zhao Zhong's first stoppage in nearly two years, though the 31-year old shouldn't break his arm patting himself on the back. The matchup was finalized only two days ago when Kiatmungmee - who has now lost three straight and five of his last six - agreed to fill in on a moment's notice.
The originally billed opponent was Australia's Omari Kimweri, who was unable to make the trip to China when visa issues arose. Kimweri (15-3, 5KO) was coming off of a 1st round knockout in July, which preceded a split decision loss to the last opponent actually identified on his record (Shin Ono) amidst a career in which he has never before fought at the strawweight limit.
Still, the Aussie would have made a far more formidable challenger than the one approved by the WBC for Saturday's contest.
Whatever the case, Zhao Zhong was given a layup, though perhaps much needed after his close - and debate - points win over Philippines' Denver Cuello this past June, his biggest career win to date.
The bout aired live on CCTV 5 in China and "available" to the rest of the world via online stream.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox