ecently, China’s “kung fu capital” showcased a match between a Shaolin-trained fighter and an African “boxing champion” with the boxer losing by knockout in just 43 seconds.
The match was held in Henan’s Dengfeng city, home to the mythical Shaolin Temple. Around 30,000 people watched their hometown boy, Shi Yanxi, a 51-year-old Shaolin disciple who has trained under head abbot Shi Yongxin, best the Tanzanian boxer, named “Gabriel,” who was touted as having a record of 14-1.
However, after the match, netizens began to question the credentials of this African “boxing champion,” finding evidence that he was actually just an international student at Shenyang Aerospace University.
Soon, Gabriel was forced to admit that he was no professional boxer, explaining that while studying in China he had been offered the chance to participate in some fights to make some money. So far, he has won just one of the six matches that he has fought in.
The organizers of the match have admitted that there are flaws in their selection and review process of fighters, promising to take measures to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.
The fight follows a massive controversy last year over the efficacy of traditional Chinese martial arts, sparked by an MMA fighter’s 10-second KO of a tai chi “master.” In the aftermath, the “master’ blamed his loss on his “slippery shoes” and holding back his true power so as not to kill his opponent.