Beaten to the punch


One of the most anticipated clashes in China this year has ended in anti-climax. As regular readers will recall, the brash Mixed Martial Arts fighter Xu Xiaodong grabbed headlines in May when he beat to the ground a tai chi master in just 10 seconds (see WiC365).

Having knocked his opponent to the floor and slapped him liberally around the head, ‘Madman’ Xu then trashed tai chi as an outdated fighting form, enraging proponents of China’s ancient martial arts styles in the process.

Xu said he was prepared to fight all challengers and so this month another tai chi master stepped up and said he would take on the 37 year-old in Shanghai.

This time the media showed up in force to see whether 65 year-old Shandong native Ma Baoguo could do any better against Xu. However, 10 minutes before the fight was due to start, Xu was told by staff at the venue that the bout would not go ahead because the police were outside.

The police then came into the hall and announced that the event was an illegal gathering. As they tried to escort the enraged Xu from the scene, he shouted “Don’t you push me. You’re too weak to make me move” but he was taken to the police station and released later in the evening.

A furious Xu now insists that it was a relative of Ma’s who tipped off the police in a bid to “entrap” him and that the cancelled contest was a “shameful day for martial arts”, the media has reported.

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