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Bob Arum Views China as Future Boxing Hot Spot

Boxing was banned in China under Mao Zedong because it was deemed too Western and too violent. But if Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum gets his way — and he usually does — the country will be the future of the sport.

“For any serious business person ... it’s a country of 1.4 billion people and it’s a country that’s emerging economically to be a real super power,” said Arum. “It’s a country where people are just starting to have the opportunity to sample what we in the West are used to, like professional boxing. I think if it’s done right, this will be the premier audience for the sport of boxing in the world.

Arum has lumped his bets on China’s two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming, who made his professional debut on April 6th in Macau. Top Rank estimated that 200 to 300 million people in China tuned in live to watch the 31-year-old flyweight.

Zou defeated the unknown Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela on a unanimous points decision in their four-round non-title bout. The home hero reportedly picked up a cool $300,000 for his trouble. The Zou-Valenzuela match-up got top billing even over a WBA/WBO world title fight.

“If it’s done right, only if it’s done right,” Arum said of his undisguised ambition of tapping into China’s vast population and their growing wealth. “You can’t give them junk, you have to give them quality and do it in a sensational place like The Venetian arena. You have to put the event on free television so it reaches the biggest possible audience in China, which is what we did.”

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by BreWall on 04-12-2013

China's economy is growing at an exponential rate, thus its middle class is growing. There's virtually no product today that you can't buy cheaper in China "directly* online. If Arum can capture this market, or any promoter for that matter,…

Comment by croz on 04-12-2013

[QUOTE=SceneSpectator!;13235236]Despite been 2 time gold medalist and a bronze medalist in olympic, nothing especial to Zou in his professional fight debut, he fought like no-body as he hit often times the air with his wide open swing of punches, and…

Comment by Weebler I on 04-12-2013

[QUOTE=Capncrunch;13234920]China is an amazing fight atmosphere. I'm an MMA follower and the shows they put on there are amazing. Hopefully Top Rank can get something going there. Putting Manny there in his next fight with some prospects on the undercard…

Comment by mike gonzalez on 04-12-2013

Once Arum continues to stage fights in China and build a fan base he will start charging$$$ the Chinese, for pay-per-view in the future, I said it first. Free tv my a$$. That is temporary.

Comment by sweetnuff on 04-12-2013

bob arum is a scumbag.

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