WBO flyweight champion Zou Shiming was knocked out by huge underdog Sho Kimura at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in China earlier today.
The former two-time Olympic champion was topping a show he promoted himself, having previously been represented by Top Rank.
However the national hero, making the first defence of his title, suffered his second professional defeat. Kimura becomes Japan’s 11th current world champion.
Shiming started well, countering Kimura and controlling the fight when it was at range. However the challenger would not relent and his work to the body began to pay dividends.
Despite being cut above his right eye, Kimura began to wear Shiming down and force him to fight on the inside, where he was clearly the boss.
Kimura then trapped Shiming on the ropes and a barrage of shots sent him onto all fours, and he failed to beat referee Danrex Tapdasan’s count.
It serves as one of the biggest upsets of the year. Kimura, who was knocked out in his professional debut, had not beaten anyone of note and draws against unheralded opponents suggested he was levels below Shiming. Kimura now joins countrymen Daigo Higa (WBC) and Kazuto Ioka (WBA) as a flyweight world champion.
In 2015 Shiming was outpointed by then-IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng.