Not many boxing fans have heard of Taishan Dong, a Chinese professional boxer who is now under the wings of Oscar Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Taishan who?
Even with a record of 3-0 and 2 knockouts, Taishan has yet to become a household name in the world boxing scene but his fighting from the United States would greatly help him in the future.
So what’s special about Taishan? Well, he stands seven feet. Yup, he stands seven feet and weighs 282 pounds.
A former kickboxer, Taishan has the potential to become a heavyweight superstar if he starts racking up wins against respectable opposition. But in his three ring appearances, Taishan has shown he moves much better and faster than another seven-foot heavyweight boxer, Nikolia Valuev of Russia who weighs 330 pounds.
If Taishan continues to improve, that will be bad news for the United States that is putting so much hope on Deontay Wilder (33-0 with 32 KOs), who is nearly 6’7” and weighs between 220 to 225 pounds, to bring back the dominance of America in the heavyweight division. Wilder has at least 18 knockouts ending in the first round.
Another boxer seeking dominance in the heavyweight division is Tyson Fury from Great Britain, who stands 6’9” and weighs from 260 to 265 pounds. His record is 24-0 with 18 KOs.
Obviously, the top dogs in the heavyweight division are getting bigger, and I thought all along that contenders bigger than the Klitschko brothers from Ukraine (Wladimir is 6’6” and the older Vitali is 6’8”) would still be rare.
If Wilder and Fury start collaring the alphabet soup world boxing titles, and Taishan starts to emerge as a top contender for the title, expect the heavyweight division to become very interesting.
So far, both Wilder and Fury have the potential to become the top champions in the heavyweight division, more so if the Klitschkos retire.
But Taishan? He has not faced formidable opposition and remains untested. The compiled record of the opposition he has faced is 7-14 with six knockouts. And his three opponents have suffered a total of nine knockout or stoppage losses.
To be fair, Taishan moves faster and has more mobility than Valuev. So it may be fair to say that Taishan can prove to be a prized catch by Golden Boy in the next few years.
Taishan also knows very well that China wants to produce champions in professional boxing, with flyweight and two-time Olympic gold medalist Zhou Shiming (6-0 with one KO) leading the charge.
Taishan’s being an Asian, however, means that he must beat Manny Pacquiao in terms of overall achievement in the ring. And that would be very tough, because Pacquiao gained notoriety and fame for mowing down bigger opponents.
And unlike Taishan, Pacquiao literally clawed up the rankings without the benefit of being part of a top promotions company early in his career. And not many boxing fans from expected Pacquiao to become one of boxing’s top superstars after he stopped Lehlo Ledwaba on June 2001.
Anyway, is it exciting to watch a big boxer clobber a much smaller fighter? If that was the case, then the Klitschkos would be more popular than Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Nonetheless, China would definitely want Taishan to become world champion soon. And if that happens, Taishan would become the first Asian to win a heavyweight title. That itself is enough to put him in the history books. But can Taishan beat Pacquiao as the best boxer Asia has produced? That would be tough even if Taishan towers above the 5’6” Pacquiao, literally.