This past Friday was a hugely interesting day in the Heavyweight division despite the fact no major title contender level fighter was in action.
Part of the interest was based around the debut of Chinese giant Taishan Dong (1-0, 1) who had his debut televised on Fox Sports 1 in the US. Dong, a man mountain at 6'11" took on Alex Rozman (2-7, 1) and dropped Rozman numerous times en route to a 2nd round TKO victory. Whilst seeing giant Heavyweights isn't something new it does still get us excited and Dong is certainly a fighter to get excited about, as shown when he dropped Rozman with a jab!
Obviously Dong isn't the complete fighter but for a debuting fighter who is appearing on TV in a new country he made a perfect start to his career.
One man who things didn't go well for was former ranked contender David "Nino" Rodriguez (36-2, 34). Rodriguez began his career perfectly and ran up a 36-0 (34) record before suffering a huge set back last year to the always dangerous Darnerl Wilson. It was expected that Rodriguez would put that loss behind him and over-come Raymond Ochieng (25-17-3, 20). Instead Ochieng blasted Rodriguez out in just 80 seconds! The win for Ochieng, easily the biggest of his career, saw him claiming the interim WBC Latino heavyweight title in one of the biggest surprises of 2014.
Staying in the US, American fans also got the chance to see Nick Kisner (13-1-1, 5) take a 4 round decision over the limited Pedro Martinez (7-8, 3). With 15 fights on the records of both men it's probably time they moved beyond 4 rounders.
Two men who should remain at the 4 rounder level are Weber Sou (0-0-1) and Mitch Therle (0-0-1) who fought to a 4 round draw in the first Heavyweight bout of the day which took place in Australia.
A second draw took place in Cananda as Shane Andreesen (12-4-1, 7) was held to by the once beaten Rob Nichols (6-1-1, 4) over 6 rounds. The bout was Andreesen's first in almost 2 years though it was also Nichol's first in more than a year. With both having ring rust a rematch later this year could make plenty of sense for both men.
For those who want to see Dong's debut a video is available here of the full fight.