He's already won two Olympic gold medals and is a three-time World Amateur champion. On Saturday night he fights for pay for just the second time…
Having already established himself as the most decorated amateur boxer to come out of China, 32-year-old light flyweight Zou Shiming is already being billed as the next star pugilistica to herald from Asia despite only ever competing once as a professional.
A three-time Olympic medalist (bronze in Athens, gold in Beijing and London), Shiming dropped the headgear and fought for pay for the first time in Macao earlier this year, in April, beating Eleazar Valenzuela on points over four threes.
Shiming drew criticism for slapping with his punches and reverting to an amateur fight style but has the chance to reimpress tomorrow, Saturday, April 27 when he returns to box in Macao, this time against Jesus Ortega in a fight scheduled for six rounds.
Shiming already has the main ingredients for success: he trains at the famed Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, LA with five-time Futch-Condon award winning coach Freddie Roach; he is backed by one of the world's premier promoters Bob Arum of Top Rank; and he will soon shadow Asia's current superstar puncher Manny Pacquiao, who hopes to bounce back from two successive defeats in November, when he also fights in Macao.
An audience of 200 million watched Shiming box earlier in the year, 12 minutes of fighting that earned him a $300,000 payday; an unrivalled amount for a professional debutant.
At the rate he is being promoted at, there could be even more eyes watching this weekend.
[YouTube video embedded above credit: Top Rank]
image: © Philip Jägenstedt