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Zou Shiming escapes French scare to join last eight
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Chinese ace boxer and China's best gold hopeful light flyweight Zou Shiming survived a fierce challenge from French Nordine Oubaali on Saturday.

The Chinese audience all had their eyes fixed and hearts hung while watching the match. Unlike his previous fight, Zou unexpectedly had a hard time by his opponent and the strict judges.

Oubaali obviously changed his tactics against the Chinese, forcing Zou to initiate attacks first, yet several of Zou's punches didn't score.

After the two fighters merely earned one point each after the first two rounds, Oubaali managed to score two more during round 3 and 4.

Zou, trailing his opponent by one point, had to fight more aggressively. At the last 30 seconds, Zou managed to score one more point to tie his French rival and narrowly escaped from a defeat.

He was announced the winner after a tie-break and entered the quarterfinals.

Zou said that the fight was very difficult for him, and he had to hold on to the big pressure and fight more aggressively so as to win more points to keep up with his rival.

Chief coach Zhang Chuanliang said he didn't quite understand the scoring, and said both Zou and Oubaali had fought "fantastically".

Zou will next fight Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan, who outscored Armenian Hovhannes Danielyan earlier on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2008)

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