Zou Shiming Poised – Las Vegas empresario Steve Wynn has been around the boxing game for a long time and his presence is inevitably seen as a confirmation of the “big time.” That is the case this Saturday night, as Top Rank Boxing presents their latest pay-per-view live from the Thomas and Mack Center. The Wynn Resorts Hotel has played host to the fighters and the press conferences throughout the week as promoter Bob Arum pulls out all the stops for one of legendary Manny Pacquiao’s last bouts.
A good deal of Top Rank’s Thursday press conference in the build up to Saturday’s pay-per-view was dedicated to China’s Zou Shiming, who is making an attempt to become China’s first professional boxing world champion when he faces Prasitsak Phaprom of Thailand for the vacant WBO World Flyweight title. As the most well known boxer in China, Shiming carries high expectations into this bout.
Our Boxing Channel cameraman Marcelino Castillo was at the Wednesday Top Rank press conferences where Wynn himself kicked off the portion of the presser dedicated to Shiming. Promoter Bob Arum gave a lengthy endorsement of Shiming and his credentials and the Shiming spoke with the assistance of translator and business man Sheng Li. The video ends with trainer Freddie Roach endoring Shiming’s Skills.
The Chinese language portions of the video have been left in for our Chinese fans.
Zou Shiming Poised
Shiming Zou is 35 years old, and he started his professional career just 3 1/2 years ago. But before he even boxed a single professional round, he was the best known and most celebrated boxer in China. His fame came by virtue of three Olympic appearances that saw him win gold medals in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012’s London games.
It was Bob Arum and Top Rank that saw Shiming’s potential on the world boxing scene, and the American promoter swooped in and signed Shiming to a contract. Arum has been running high profile events in China for several years now, evening bringing his crown jewel attraction Manny Pacquiao to Macao on a pair of occasions.
Because of Shiming’s age Arum realized he is working with a limited amount of time and a fast track startegy to get Shiming a world title fight was put in place. In just his seventh pro fight, Shiming faced Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand in Macao, China but he lost a unanimous decision 116-111 across the board.
The loss resulted in a layoff of more than a yar, critical time lost for an athlete. But neither the loss nor time dampen Shiming’s star power in China, where he spent the time off starring in a popular TV reality show traveling with his baby boy. His othe racting gigs included a cameo appearance in Transformers 4 where he throws a series of punches to KO a villian and then coolly walks off.
This Saturday, Shimiong Zou faces Preasitsak Phaprom (39-1-2) of Thailand, a fighter with just one loss on his record, and that was at the hands of Shiming Zou. Shiming enters the fight a major favorite to defeat Phaprom a second time and take home the WBO World flyweight title. The table is set for glorious new heights or a second, hope crushing loss in a world title fight.
If China embraces boxing, there is little doubt they will be a world power in a few short years and it has been Bob Arum and Top Rank that have invested the most in the market. This Saturday Bob Arum let’s it all ride on Shiming Zou in Vegas.
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