Wednesday, October 10, 2007
boxing comes to chengdu
In what seems to be a never-ending slew of international sporting events coming to Chengdu (most notably the FIFA Women's Cup last month), last night brought the World Boxing Association 86th Conference to the Sichuan Stadium.
As we got a hold of ten free tickets, I decided to go to my first professional sporting event in China along with the rest of Team CHENGDOO and some friends.
It was actually pretty fun, although the stadium was half-empty, and the first couple of hours were spent watching ho-hum matches between mostly lightweight male boxers--China vs. France, China vs. China, China vs. Thailand.
But things heated up when the big event of the night--the female super flyweight (115 lbs.) match between China's Zhang Xi Yan and two-time champion Ha Na Kim from Korea--got underway. With fanfare involving flags and national anthems, the ladies came out to the ring, spectators rose to their feet, and the punching began.
While the previous matches--all between men--saw a grand total of one knockout, Zhang had Kim on the floor several times, much to the delight of her fellow Chinese nationals, and most everybody else in the crowd as well.
The match ended with Zhang, not surprisingly, taking the title, after having beaten Kim in every single round.
A nice start for China, who enters the international boxing arena with this groundbreaking event--the first of its kind to be held in the country.