Taishan Dong, a seven-foot Chinese boxer, known as the “The Great Wall,” is emerging as the next sensation in the world of heavyweight boxing.
The 26-year-old boxer with a massive frame and great physique, is surprisingly fast for a 7-foot man weighing more than 280 pounds, and is showing lots of promise, but it remains to be seen how far he will go.
He is being described by many pundits as a real-life “Ivan Drago,” the character from Rocky IV who, according to his trainer and promoter, destroys whatever he hits.
Dong, also known as the “The Seven-Foot Dong,” beat Roy McCrary in his third professional fight on Friday, Feb. 27, in Indio, California. He won by a unanimous decision, after having ended the previous two bouts — the first of his professional career — with knockouts.
The judges scored the fight: 40-34, 40-34 and 39-35.
Fighting against a man with a reach of 84 inches, three inches longer than the reach of the current heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko, McCrary had too much against him that night.
Dong dominated the fight for much of the first round, despite having been rather relaxed defensively. McCrary was simply unable to hit his opponent, although he had several chances.
McCrary went down on a knee during the second round of the fight after a right to the face. But he was back on his feet quickly. He was down again during the third round after he lost his footing, following another right from Dong that really did not connect properly.
The fight continued until the last round with Dong enjoying the upper hand.
Despite his win by a unanimous decision, most pundits were not impressed with Dong’s performance, saying he would have to do much better to get to the top.
Although, pundits’ unfavorable assessment of his performance against McCrary could have been due to the fact of high expectations, the fact remains that Dong would have to work on his agility and speed to fulfill his promise as a boxer. There was a consensus among analysts that against a faster, more agile and effective boxer, he would have been in trouble on Friday.
According to Bleacher Report, Dong started out as a basketball player but moved into kickboxing. He finally decided to become a boxer because he thought it was a technically a less-complicated sport.
“The transition wasn’t really hard. Nowadays I have to concentrate on fewer things, since I only have to apply punches and protect the upper part of my body.”
Winning the world heavyweight boxing championship would convince Dong that he made the right decision to quit basketball and kickboxing. But he still has a long way to go to reach the top.
[image: Twitter via ESPN]