(Zou Shiming, via Top Rank)
MACAU -- These are the results for the four main undercard fights to support the main event of Manny Pacquiao Vs. Brandon Rios:
In the final supporting bout, featherweight Billy Dib just couldn't turn around the dynamic that saw him lose his belt to Evgeny Gradovich in March, and lost again, this time by stoppage. Gradovich (18-0, 9 KO) basically beat Dib (36-3, 21 KO) around the ring after a couple of early competitive rounds. The Australian's tendency to draw directly back from punches saw him soaking up punishment on the ropes throughout the late rounds. A couple of shots from Gradovich, including a lunging left hook in the 8th, looked like they were going to take Dib's head clean off. In the end the stoppage came at 1:10 of round 9, with Dib's trainer Billy Hussein mercifully throwing in the towel.
Andy Ruiz, Jr. didn't do much for his credentials as the next American heavyweight in beating Tor Hamer, who retired after the 3rd round. Hamer (21-3, 14 KO) was able to connect with a lot of big right hands around the guard of Ruiz (21-0, 15 KO), as well as pumping uppercuts and left hooks to the body and head. It was Hamer who won rounds 1 and 2 and Ruiz only really dominated the second half of the 3rd. He looked good once he got on a roll, though, throwing fast punches in combinations. He is very fat, though, and may need to get in shape if he's going to beat anyone at the next level.
You know, I'm going to call it; Chinese flyweight star Zou Shiming looked pretty good in earning a unanimous decision over Juan "El Pollo" Toscano (4-1, 1 KO). He controlled distance really nicely, leaping in and out like a cut-rate Manny Pacquiao. His straight punching was crisp and he was beating Toscano from pillar to post for basically the entire fight. He opened a gruesome cut under Toscano's right eye in the 3rd but the Mexican fought on bravely (it must be said that his corner was pretty brave too). The fight could probably have been stopped and Shiming (3-0, 0 KO) was gunning for the knockout, but just doesn't have the power.
Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo outlcassed an incredibly game opponent in Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan, winning a shutout decision in their lightweight bout. Duanaaymukdahan made a whole lot of friends in the crowd along the way, though, boring in with his head down, clowning, banging his gloves together and even doing an Ali shuffle. It was all in vain, because Verdejo was completely unfazed by his rather predictable assault. He pumped a consistent jab that had Duanaaymukdahan's face a mess from the 1st round, and worked a variety of combinations. Verdejo, who moved to 9-0, 7 KO, landed a hellacious right uppercut in the 5th that would have dropped a lesser man, but Duanaaymukdahan plowed one regardless. The Thai, who moved to 8-2, 1 KO was docked a point in the 6th for low blows, which by that point was rather academic. Verdejo got the nod 60-53 across the board.
I was legitimately a bit surprised that Shiming seemed to have improved from the last time we saw him. He's never going to mystically turn himself into a big puncher or a totally different fighter, but he had more snap to his shots, even if only by virtue of better technique. Footwork looked like it wasn't as amateurish, etc. And Verdejo sure looks to have a number of nice tools himself.