concerns, and strength

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    IT’S finally time for China’s best-known and most successful boxer [url=]Raekwon McMillan Hat[/url] , Zou Shiming, to seriously rethink his professional career after being knocked out by Japan’s Sho Kimura in his first WBO world title defending bout at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center yesterday.

    Facing his opponent, a relatively unknown 28-year-old, 36-year-old Zou continued in his defensive style, stealing points with counter-punches while Kimura kept pushing forward to attack. Come round 11 of the 12-round bout, Zou’s deficit in stamina became evident when he fell to the floor after receiving a barrage of punches from his younger opponent.

    The judge then called an end to the bout, as Zou encountered his first TKO defeat in his professional career, which started only four years ago.

    The surprising defeat threw a packed Oriental Sports Center into total silence before an emotional Zou, who was in tears, gave a 5-minute speech to the home crowd.

    “My tears are not because of my defeat, but for China’s boxing,” said the Guizhou Province native. “For a long time, China’s boxing has not been understood or paid enough attention to. Today I lost my bout, but if it has aroused people’s interest in China’s boxing, the it’s served its purpose.”

    “I’ve boxed for 22 years, and what I want is that one day, when I lose a fight and can not play any longer, China’s boxing will still be supported,” Zou added.

    Though he did not confirm his retirement, many are regarding the speech as his informal farewell to the professional rink.

    Turning professional

    Zou went professional as late as 32 years of age, after winning two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Partnering with Chinese Sports promoter SECA, Zou signed a contract with US boxing promoter Top Rank, and was subsequently trained by Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao’s coach.

    Top Rank was eyeing the Chinese market after noticing Zou’s reputation and recognition in China, a country where professional boxing is still at a very early stage.

    Zou’s nimble playing style and amateur boxing skills, however, could not allow him to reach similar achievements in professional boxing, despite his hard work.

    Under Top Rank’s “protection,” Zou’s professional bout opponents had been carefully chosen.

    On July 19, 2014, Zou beat Luis de la Rosa by unanimous decision in Macau for his first professional title, the WBO International flyweight title. His first world title came last November when Zou defeated Prasitsak Phaprom via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO flyweight title in Las Vegas.

    The Shanghai fight was Zou’s first professional bout, backed by his own company Zouxuan Sports. However, eight weeks of preparation turned out to be far from enough for the 36-year-old to hold on for 12 rounds, even though his opponent Kimura is considered a rookie boxer, and is far from being well recognized in his native Japan.

    Despite the heart-breaking loss, Zou still remains the most successful boxer in China, though his methods could hardly be copied by any up-and-coming boxers. Professional boxing in China still has a long way to go.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L), Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela (C) and Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama’s vice president and foreign minister, attend a signing ceremony in Panama City, on Sept. 17, 2017. Wang hold the first political consultation between the two governments with his Panamanian counterpart here on Sunday. (XinhuaDan Hang)

    PANAMA CITY, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hailed here Sunday the first 100 days since China and Panama established diplomatic ties by giving it “a full score of 100 points”.

    At a joint press conference with Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama’s vice president and foreign minister, Wang said that during these 100 days, the two sides opened their respective embassies in each other’s countries, initiated negotiations on more than a dozen cooperation agreements concerning trade, investment, quality inspection, maritime transportation, aviation, finance, tourism, culture and justice so as to build up the basic framework for long-term development of China-Panama relations.

    He urged the two sides to sign these agreements in a package when Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela visits China later this year.

    The Chinese minister noted that a group of Chinese firms came to Panama a few days ago, and signed at once contracts for the export of Panamanian goods to Chinese markets valued at 38.7 million U.S. dollars.

    He said China would like to join hands with Panama tightly and continue to strengthen exchanges at all levels and in various sectors so as to promote mutual understanding and trust.

    At the press conference, Wang said China is willing to work with Panama, a key Latin American nation, to jointly build a new type of international relations that stress win-win cooperation.

    Wang recalled that during his meeting with Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, the two sides reached a broad range of consensuses, and agreed that the one China policy would be the political foundation for bilateral ties.

    They also agreed to enhance high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, and take joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road as an opportunity to promote mutually beneficial cooperation so as to better serve the two peoples.

    The two sides also agreed that China and Panama, both developing economies, should support each other on issues of their respective concerns, and strengthen communication and coordination in regional and international affairs in a bid to maintain the overall interests of the developing world.

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