Li ready to strike early blows in CLB

09:25, April 27, 2010      

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The first China League of Boxing (CLB) will throw its opening blows on Tuesday evening when Qianwei Tiansheng take on Inner Mongolia at the Beijing Olympic Sports Center.

Qianwei's Li Chao already has set his sights far beyond the opening match. The champion of 51kg class at last year's National Games told China Daily his team was looking forward to challenging highly fancied Guizhou-Shanghai United in the final and he as was out to beat Olympic champion Zou Shiming.

"Our goal is to win our way out of the northern conference and fight for the championship against the Guizhou-Shanghai," Li said at the team's training base in Beijing.

Besides Li and three other national champions, the Qianwei team boasts Li Qingsheng, a former national coach, as its captain.

"Our most powerful advantage is our captain. He is one of China's two international first-rate referees. With his experience at the World Championships and the Olympic Games he can introduce the most advanced tactics and the latest rules to us," Li said.

The team competition features five classes but 25-year-old Li is focusing on a potential encounter in the 51kg class against Zou, who became the first Chinese boxer to win Olympic gold in 2008.

"I believe I will have a chance (to win) if I meet him in the final. His is very famous as the Olympic champion but his fists are not too heavy for me," Li said of 28-year-old Zou, who used to fight at 48kg. "There must be some reason for his success but he is not invincible."

The winning clubs from the northern and southern conferences, which have three teams apiece, will compete for the team title at the end of June. The top two fighters in each class will then fight for individual championships.

Source:China Daily


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