By Loren Goodman
Photos: Zovi Boxing Promotion
In the twelve-round co-main event in Daying, China, up-and-coming prospect Xiao Jun Qiu (12-2, 4 KOs) displayed an impressive repertoire of boxing skills to defend his WBC Asia Continental super bantamweight title for the third time against tenacious Japan-based Filipino southpaw Jonathan Baat (25-5-3, 12 KOs).
Both fighters knew each other quite well, having engaged in non-title bouts twice before. Baat won the first by a close decision in September 2012. In the May 2013 rematch, Baat—who was down and cut badly—managed to scrape by on a ninth round technical decision. Both of these bouts took place on Baat’s adopted home turf of Kanazawa, Japan.
This time around, with the title at stake in Qiu’s backyard, Qiu controlled Baat with his jab as Baat attempted to bore in behind lead right uppercuts and hooks. In round three Qiu caught Baat coming in with a superbly timed straight right to the chin, staggering and dropping him to one knee. In the middle rounds, Qiu employed hand and foot speed, using his sharp jab to keep Baat at bay as the challenger worked hard to close the distance and slug it out with the local favorite. When the scores were announced after eight rounds, Baat—significantly behind—came on even stronger, determined to knockout Qiu. Although Baat swept the last three rounds on all cards, Qiu came out on top by scores of 116-112, 119-111, 116-113.
The ten-round co-main event pitted 6’9″, 310-pound Evgeny “Molecule from Hell” Orlov (15-12-1, 11 KOs) against former OPBF Heavyweight champion Peter Okello (21-8, 19 KOs) for the vacant WBC Asia Continental Heavyweight title. Orlov set his formidable mass in motion from the opening bell, pressuring Okello behind his long jab and arcing right hands.
Okello, orbiting along the ropes, often timed Orlov’s leads, landing his own jab to the ribs and belly. In rounds two through five, Orlov—who was cut over the left eye from a clash of heads—continued to press the action, at times catching Okello against the ropes and in the corner with chopping right hands and hooks. Okello had his best moments coming forward behind his educated double jab, popping Orlov’s head back with the second blow after he had swayed back to avoid the first. Both big men tired rapidly after the third, and there several ugly moments on the inside involving all manner of infractions, Orlov being warned for pushing Okello to the canvas on two occasions.
Okello rallied in round six, weaving and slipping under Orlov’s two-fisted attacks to land his own powerful blows to the head and body. In the same stanza, referee Bruce McTavish deducted a point from Orlov for pushing Okello to the canvas. From round seven however, it was all Orlov, who continued to press Okello to the perimeter of the ring and unload with both hands. While Okello was able to duck, slip and block many of these, his own punch rate dwindled to almost nothing. After taking serious punishment in rounds eight and nine, the valiant former OPBF champion from Uganda retired in his corner before the beginning of the tenth. The new champion, originally from Siberia and currently residing in Moscow, was jubilant and gracious in victory.
In a six-round female flyweight match, Yu Jie Luo (3-6, 1 KO) stopped Thai-based 47-year old Japanese Tamami Tor Buamas (6-4, 5 KOs) by TKO in round six. Tor Buamas had difficulty closing the distance and connecting throughout. While rounds one through three were fairly close, Luo’s footwork and power proved deciding factors thereafter.
In a six round light heavyweight encounter 6’4″ Peng Qu (5-0-1, 3 KOs) slugged it out to the pleasure of the crowd with the much shorter Australian Paul Watson (2-3, 1 KO). Qu blitzed Watson from the opening bell, apparently trying to keep his knockout win streak alive. Watson, however, fired back hard in the second. A scheduled eight rounder, the bout was oddly (and abruptly) changed to a six rounder during the interval before the fifth, and Qu maintained his undefeated record by unanimous decision.
China-based Russian super middleweight Andrey Kalyuzzhnyy (5-1, 3 KOs) made short work of Thailander Kajorndet Or Ekachai (0-2), dropping him for the count with a right to the body, left to the liver combination at 0:32 of round one in this six-rounder.
Venue: Daying Stadium, Daying, China
Promoter: Zovi Boxing Promotion (Gang Liu)