SHANGHAI, CHINA- China’s boxing star Zou Shiming made a marvelous return to the ring and stopped Natan Santana Coutinho of Brazil in eight rounds at the Oriental Sports Center.

Zou boxed well as expected but Santana stoked the ire of the hometown crowd early when he clowned around and taunted Zou in the opening round. Zou continued to move and use his longer reach but he showed he was not afraid to engage Santana at close quarters.

As the rounds progressed, Zou landed at will and the cheers of the crowd got louder. In the fifth, a swift volley hurt Santana but he remained on his feet. Zou’s boxing lesson continued and in the eighth, the Brazilian was pinned on the ropes and a series of unanswered punches prompted Thai Referee Sawaeng Thaweekoon to call a halt at the 2:17 mark.

Zou wins the vacant WBO international flyweight title and resumes his title hunt after losing his IBF title shot to Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand.

Zou is now 7W-1L, 2KO’s while Santana suffered his first loss after 12 wins, 10 by KO.

This fight served as the main event of “Return of the King- the Rising of the Fists” held Saturday in Shanghai.