Sho Kimura reflects on WBO flyweight title victory
Sho Kimura caused one of the biggest upsets of the year, to date, when he shocked Zou Shiming, stopping the Chinese superstar in the 11th round to claim the WBO flyweight title.
Kimura (15-1-2, 8 knockouts) entered the fight as a huge 9-to-1 underdog but silenced Zou’s fans at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai, China, dropping the hometown favorite and forcing referee Danrex Tapdasan to intervene and call a halt at 2:28.
“I am very happy to have won against him to become a world champion,” Kimura told RingTV.com through Tomoyuki Kataoka. “He was the two-time Olympic gold medalist and also a world champion in professional boxing. All I want now is to be a world champion as long as possible.”
At the time of the stoppage, Kimura was behind on two of the scorecards. The 28-year-old always felt he needed the stoppage to be certain of victory.
“Of course, any judgment on the bout was to be determined by the judges,” he explained. “However, I felt as if I was at a disadvantage on points and, therefore, I thought that I should knock him out in order to win.”
Although Kimura became the Aoki Gym’s first male world champion, it also boasts the legendary female WBC atomweight (below 102 pounds) champion Momo Koseki.
The win saw previously unheralded Kimura become Japan’s 12th current, and most unlikely, titleholder.
It is understandably a proud moment in his career.
“I feel some responsibility as a world champion,” he said. “There are so many champions in Japan and, therefore, it is very important for me to perform in great bouts from now on as a world champion.”
A pleased Mr. Ariyoshi of the Aoki Gym outlayed his client’s options.
“Mr. Zou’s side has an option (to promote Kimura’s next fight),” said Ariyoshi. “I do not know currently whether Kimura’s next bout will become a mandatory match to be sanctioned by WBO or any other match. The next bout will be subject to decisions by WBO or Mr. Zou’s side.”
Initially, Zou (9-2, 2 KOs) hinted at retirement, though now seems to be coming around to fighting again. The news from Mr. Ariyoshi would suggest a rematch is very possible.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.
Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or…
You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Anthony Joshua