Li Wen Yang made Chinese Boxing History on Tuesday (October 25) when he became the country’s first ever male professional ’world’ champion.
Yang won the vacant Universal Boxing Organization™ (UBO) Light Welterweight title with a hard fought, but clear, unanimous decision over Thailand’s Rachamongkol Kokietgym.
In front of more than 7000 partisan fans in mining town Yi Liang, about an hour from his hometown of Zhao Tong, Yang won by scores of 116-112, 118-109 and 119-109 and improved his professional ledger to 15-2 (4). Kokietgym dropped to 16-4 (6).
Sugar Ray Lee, as he is affectionately nicknamed, came out to impress, and dropped Kokietgym with a beautiful left hook-straight right hand combination in the first round. He then lost a point moments later for hitting his Thai opponent while he was down, which may have cost the local hero an early knockout victory.
Yang continued to dominate, and had built a nice lead after four rounds. The bout then settled into a tough battle with Yang boxing nicely from the outside, and Kokietgym aggressively pressing the action, knowing he was behind on the scorecards.
While Yang was really dazzling the crowd with his excellent boxing skills, Kokietgym made him work very hard for his victory throughout the entire twelve rounds. However, in the end there was no doubt who would get the judges nod, and the military security force of over 400 strong had a hard time containing the joyous Chinese fans as a dozen or so spilled into the ring to hoist the history-making new world champion.
The fight was televised to millions of viewers by Chinas premiere sports broadcaster CCTV5. UBO Supervisor was Asia Commissioner Rick Staheli.