By Rick Reeno
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas - In a rematch of their 2014 encounter, two-time Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming (9-1, 2KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Prasitsak Phaprom (39-2-2, 24KOs) to capture the vacant WBO flyweight championship. The belt became vacant when Juan Francisco Estrada moved up. The scores were 120-107, 119-108, 120-107.
Shiming failed in his first world title opportunity last year when he was decisioned by then IBF champion Amnat Ruenroeng.
Shiming had the obvious advantage in size, and in speed. He quickly began to pepper Phaprom with punches from both hands. Zou scored a flash knockdown during the second round, when he caught an off-balance Phaprom with a combination of punches.
Phaprom was simply too slow and too small to do much of anything to Shiming. During the sixth round, Shiming actually dropped his hands and stuck his chin out to taunt Phaprom - who was too slow to take advantage of the free opportunity.
Phaprom's face was battered and bloody by the eight round, from the peppering he was receiving from Shiming. Shiming always controlled the distance and continued to outwork and outbox Phaprom until the final bell. Phaprom never stopped trying but Shiming saw his punches coming a mile away.
Zou returned to the ring fresh from his U.S. pro debut, which took place on June 11 at Madison Square Garden. He defeated Jozsef Ajtai of Hungary by a lopsided unanimous decision. He started the year out with a bang, knocking out undefeated contender Natan Santana Coutinho, to regain the WBO International flyweight title, on January 30, in Shanghai.
Since the first loss to Zou, Prasitak fashioned a two-year, 12-bout winning streak, with all of his victories coming by way of knockout, including five defenses of his WBO Oriental flyweight title. Prasitak, who was fighting America for the first time, is currently world-rated No. 3 by the WBO.