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Promoted variously as the “Great Wall” or the “Yao Ming of boxing”, China’s Taishan Dong made his professional debut in San Francisco last month against Alex Rozman. Dong won by TKO in the second round after using his 84-inch reach to stagger Rozman with effective jabs.

Dong, who stands seven-feet-tall and tips the scales at 285 pounds, is a mountain of a man in every sense of the word. Born JianJun, the giant boxer prefers to go by Taishan — the name of the sacred Taoist mountain in his home country’s Shandong province.

With his towering physique, Dong was originally groomed for a basketball career, but his heart was never into it. The heavily-muscled teen’s passion for fighting drew him to wrestling and kick boxing, before he settled upon the sweet science.


The height differential Dong is likely to enjoy throughout his boxing career, brings to mind Dolph Lundgren towering over Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, and Wilt Chamberlain’s attempt to coax Muhammad Ali into the ring.