WBC minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (22-4-1, 12 KO) will defend his title on Wednesday in China. The 31-year-old Chinese champion will undoubtedly have the crowd behind him as he takes on Oswaldo Novoa (12-4-1, 7 KO) at City Hall in Haikou.
Xiong has won four straight fights, and this battle will be the third defense of the WBC crown.
His opponent doesn't have a wealth of experience. Novoa is also 31 years old, but he's only been fighting professionally since 2010. Can he overcome the champion's skill, experience and a raucous crowd?
Because of Novoa's lack of experience, Boxing Talk called the bout a "soft defense."
However, the WBC has approved it and the show will go on.
As of now, there's no television viewing information available for the fight, but here's the official date and location.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 5
The Book on Zhong
Known for his aggressive and crowd-pleasing style, Xiong has become quite popular in his homeland. He is China's first professional boxing champion, though Zou Shiming is on pace to join him in that distinction.
Here's Xiong in an interview after winning the title in 2012, per Beijing Cream:
It's quite possible Xiong's accomplishments have served as motivation for Shiming. He and Shiming's success will go a long way in establishing boxing as a major sport in China.
Defeating Novoa on Wednesday will only add to Xiong's legend and popularity.
The Book on Novoa
It wasn't easy finding footage of Novoa, but the fights that were available weren't all that impressive. He's not hard to hit, but he does bang the body consistently.
His skills are a bit unrefined, but he's a tough guy. This is a look at Novoa battling Jose Argumedo to a split-decision victory. Novoa is in the black trunks.
I'm not sure that's going to matter, though.
Based purely on boxing skill and experience, Novoa doesn't have a great chance to win this fight. Xiong is simply much further along in his development as a fighter. He should easily outbox Novoa and stop him late, or win a clear unanimous decision.
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