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Deadly Zhang out for scalps : On September 16, 2005
[MUAY THAI] The Hong Kong press gave unprecedented coverage to the "showdown of the century" when the "Tiger of Jian Xu", Zhang Qing Jun, scored a stunning first-round knockout over England's Marek "The Jet" Boguscewicz at the Elizabeth Stadium to win the first WBC Muaythai (Greater Asia) International Heavyweight Championship last Friday.
The Chinese dailies gave full page coverage to the historic event while the conservative English language daily The South China Morning Post produced a back page report on Zhang's third straight KO victory in the heavyweight division.
Zhang's win has sent shock waves through the martial arts communities of China, Hong Kong and Macau and the Chinese media are raving about the "Tiger of Jian Xu" being the next superstar.
Zhang said he was looking forward to being matched up with the "best Europeans", saying he was first trained in kung fu before switching to muay Thai.
"In professional ring sports muay Thai is where you go and fight if you want to be the best of the best."
Marek, who prides himself on his boxing and defensive abilities, said he was "taken completely by surprise by Zhang's ferocity in the ring".
Zhang opened the first round with a flurry of hard punches that bruised and cut the face of Marek. He was knocked down twice before the final countdown at the 70 seconds mark of the first round.
The first WBC Muaythai International Championship was fought on the 9th day of the 9th month at the 9th hour in the evening.
The Hong Kong Boxing Association - the influential organisation promoting WBC Muaythai in Hong Kong, Macau and China - said the numbers 999 "are most fortuitous and this augers well for the great ring sport of muay Thai. Now that there is the first WBC muay Thai champion in the Greater Asia region from China there is unprecedented interested in muay Thai as a credible professional ring sport."
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