News / Asia

Chinese Heavyweight Boxers Make US Debut

Chinese Heavyweight Boxers Make US Debuti
X
July 18, 2014 9:59 AM
Two Chinese boxers are getting ready to debut as professional heavyweight fighters in the United States. Olympic medalist Zhang Zhilei is training on the East Coast. Another Asian amateur, Taishan Dong, is preparing for his first big fight on the West Coast. VOA correspondent Mike O’Sullivan and video journalist Deyane Moses spoke with Dong at a gym near Los Angeles.
Mike O'Sullivan

Two Chinese boxers are getting ready to debut as professional heavyweight fighters in the United States. Olympic medalist Zhang Zhilei is training on the East Coast, while another Asian amateur, Taishan Dong, is preparing for his first big fight on the West Coast.

Jianjun Dong’s ring name is Taishan, after a famous Chinese mountain. At 127 kilograms and 211 centimeters tall, Taishan Dong is a mountain of a man. A top amateur fighter in Asia and former kick boxer, he’ll debut as a heavyweight boxer in San Francisco July 18.

The 26-year-old Dong says the United States is strong in sports, and because he hopes to move to a higher level, America offers many opportunities to reach his goal.

He may be one of the tallest boxers ever, and he is powerful, but still untested as a pro fighter. 

As Dong hits punching pads held by his trainer, former heavyweight boxer John Bray, Bray said the Chinese fighter has potential.

“I think that he’s a young, eager heavyweight that’s very teachable.  The heavyweight landscape is wide open, as you know, and he’s going to fare very well,” said Bray.

Dong is not the only up-and-coming Chinese heavyweight. Zhang Zhilei, who won a silver medal in boxing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will debut as a heavyweight pro in Nevada August 8.  He is now training in New Jersey.

For both, there are cultural and language barriers. Taishan Dong speaks little English, but said he works around it.

He says he trained in sports since a young age in China. Verbal communication is a big barrier in the United States, but he can work with his trainer using body language. His trainer says both men “speak boxing.”

Dong has more than fighting on his mind. He’s the father of a 4-month-old daughter named Harper, who was born in Los Angeles. The fighter’s wife, Gege, is ringside as he trains in this suburban gym, and she says her husband is in good shape for his first pro fight. She also said he's relaxed and not worried. 

Accomplished amateurs, Taishan Dong and Zhang Zhilei both hope to change the face of U.S. heavyweight boxing, which in the past has seen few Asian faces.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid