Wonderful Wu returns to winning ways against Lourenco in China
The remaining AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Cycle I Round 2 Light Flyweight (49 kg) matches occurred on Saturday night in Guiyang, China, and produced two outstanding bouts.
In the main event, home favourite Zhonglin Wu (CHI) returned to winning ways in APB with a sparkling rematch victory over Patrick Lourenco (BRA).
Wu had won their first meeting by split decision, and though the verdict was the same in their second bout, he won in a more convincing fashion this time around.
Lourenco reacted well to the early pressure and claimed the second round on two scorecards, before Wu’s wicked left hook began to find its target regularly in round three.
Wu had struggled to mix defence and attack in his last bout with Carlos Quipo (ECU), but he has clearly been working on both elements in the gym as he looked a completely different fighter to the man who was defeated last time out.
His Brazilian rival could not close down the distance without being met with heavy shots, while his own guard was frequently exploited by the highly motivated Chinese athlete.
The South American stylist had several moments of success in the bout with his overhand right particularly impressive in the seventh round, but he could not create enough moments of magic to truly trouble the man on the other side of the ring.
A tiring Wu reverted to a more methodical jab heavy style in the last round as he was keen not to allow Lourenco any chances of making his way back into the fight, but Lourenco once again impressed in the latter stages of an APB contest to claim the round.
After all eight rounds had been completed, Wu was awarded the victory 78:74 and 77:75 according to two judges, while Lourenco was favoured by a single round on the third scorecard.
In the second match of the evening, 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Fazil Juma Kaggwa (UGA) defeated 2015 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kornelis Kwangu Langu.
Fazil KAGGWA (UGA) W.P. (77:75/76:76/77:75) vs Kornelis LANGU (INA)
Zhongling WU (CHN) W.P (75:76/78:74/77:75) vs Patrick LOURENCO (BRA)
Njangiru beats Chalabiyev in Chinese classic
The final two AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Cycle I Round 2 Bantamweight (56 kg) matches were held on Saturday night in Guiyang, China, where in the main event Benson Gicharu Njangiru (KEN) sensationally defeated reigning AIBA World Champion Javid Chalabiyev (AZE).
Two-time Commonwealth Games medalist Njangiru arrived into the ring wearing a Southampton football jersey with the name of his Kenyan compatriot Victor Wanyama on the back, and he has now added himself to the top echelon of African sporting superstars after his wonderful victory.
The Kenyan was busier from the outset, and his rapid effort resulted in many shots hitting the target of his decorated opponent.
A stiff left jab and scintillating right hooks produced much success for Njangiru in the early frames, with accurate body punching joining the repertoire from round three onwards.
Chalabiyev attempted to take control of the action and was frequently the man pressing forward, but the elusive defence of Njangiru was too slick to infiltrate through the first half of the fight.
Although the Azeri athlete opened round five with blistering combination punching, the majority of shots were blocked by his rival who stayed composed to dominate the rest of the frame.
The previous round clearly inspired Chalabiyev heading into the sixth stanza though, as he produced his best work of the fight with educated pressure enabling him to win the frame on all three scorecards.
Njangiru readjusted his tactics in the seventh round, and achieved considerable success after he began to put more spite and venom into his fast shots.
Stamina had been a question mark for the Kenyan as he had never been past six rounds in APB before, but he passed the test with flying colours in the eighth and final round with more aggressive punches teamed with sublime movement.
All three of the scoring judges awarded the contest to Njangiru 79:73 and 77:75 (x2), which led to the delighted boxer demonstrating some entertaining gymnastics in the ring.
In the exhibition Bantamweight bout of the night, debutant Lunzhi Wang (CHI) outpointed Altangerel Davaadalai (MGL) to achieve his first APB victory.
Javid CHALABIYEV (AZE) vs Benson NJANGIRU (KEN) W.P. (75:77/73:79/75:77)