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Frank Warren on Shiming, Harrison-Walsh, Golovkin

by Frank Warren

Could the professional debut of Zou Shiming this evening see China emerge as a new superpower in world boxing? The Olympic darling, who won the nation's first ever boxing gold as a light-flyweight at the 2008 Beijing Games, then repeated the trick at London 2012, has copped a whopping $300,000 purse to square off against a Mexican novice over four rounds at the Venetian hotel and casino resort on the island of Macau, the former Portuguese colony frequented by China's biggest high rollers.

The 15,000 capacity venue is likely to be rammed to bursting point and with HBO broadcasting in the US plus an anticipated TV audience exceeding 200 million on mainland China, it seems the sport has chanced upon an untapped but ridiculously lucrative new market.

Initially it will be dependent upon Zou delivering between the ropes. In addition to his Olympic brace, he bagged three world amateur titles with his success based upon laser speed and feline agility. With Hall of Famer Bob Arum pulling the promotional strings, he is primed to hit the outside lane to a world title challenge as early as 2014.

However, at 31, there are plenty of unwanted amateur traits to shed and trainer Freddie Roach has been recruited to smooth the transition from three round amateur playground to 12 round professional battlefield.

Arum was the pioneer in building the US Hispanic market which has driven the pay-per-view market in the US for decades but, with business centres in Hong Kong and Singapore hovering and huge communities in Britain, the US and the rest of the world to exploit, a Chinese boom could prove even bigger especially if they find a star in the heavier divisions.

Tune in this afternoon – it's live on BoxNation from 2.30pm.  As is the super fight on 6th April between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nonito Donaire.  That has all the makings of a classic!

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Several of Scotland's ring heroes encountered difficulties adjusting to life after their ring career's concluded. However, former two-time WBO featherweight king Scott Harrison imploded right in his prime, whilst on the cusp of superfights for super pay cheques.

Bull strong and manically driven, 'The Real McCoy' was beaten just once in 11 world title fights with me between June 2002 and November 2005.

Alas, at the age of just 28, alcohol took a grip on his life. He was stripped of his title and lay dormant for six and a half years. Much of that time was passed in Spanish jails following drink induced assault convictions. A tragic waste of a special talent.

Harrison finally returned to the ring with two low key wins last year and, though he's now 35, I'm giving him a chance to redeem himself on my big show at Wembley Arena on April 20th.

He'll challenge unbeaten Norfolk southpaw Liam Walsh over 12 rounds for the WBO European title. Whoever prevails can expect to be fast tracked to a world title challenge.

The talent stacked card is headed by WBO light-heavyweight king Nathan Cleverly's risky mandatory defence against Germany's Robin Krasniqi, whilst charismatic heavyweight Dereck Chisora starts his comeback.

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Liverpool's leading boxers have come up short in recent weeks. After heavy hitting David Price's shock loss to Tony Thompson, Derry Mathews let Anthony Crolla catch him up for a draw before underachieving Evertonian Tony Bellew served up a late night snooze fest last Saturday which saw him labour to a draw, then whinge that he had won 9 of the 12 rounds, Scousers might be right in feeling that there isn't another Joe Conteh on the horizon to lead the flame of this proud fighting city.

However, I'm tipping Ellesmere Ports  Super-Flyweight Paul Butler to go all the way and become Britain's first World Champion in the 115 pound weight division. A vicious puncher with bags of technique, Paul has all the makings of a World class pro. The Baby Faced Assassin has raced to ten straight wins since turning pro and I expect him to make that 11 next Friday when he challenges Yaqub Kareem for the Commonwealth strap at Liverpool Olympia. He's already British Champion, a massive ticket seller and he is my tip to become a real star not just in the North West but internationally.

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Kazakh middleweight Gennady Golovkin might be the best kept secret in boxing.

Last weekend, off British TV screens, the 30 year old retained his WBA and IBO titles by destroying Japan's teak tough Nobuhiro Ishida inside three rounds in Monaco.

A former world amateur champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist, 'Golden Gennady' has never been knocked down or stopped in a ring career that spans 375 fights, amateur and pro.

His 23 knockouts in 26 paid gigs give him the highest kayo percentage in the 160lb division's 124 year history. Unsurprisingly, the queue of contenders prepared to challenge him is extremely short!

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I said last week it would be a barnburner after last October's bloody brawl between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado was a strong contender for the best fight of 2012 yet it was eclipsed by their free swinging rematch in Vegas last weekend.

Both Yanks were wobbling like weebles before Denver's Alvarado exacted revenge after 12 truly savage rounds. A great fight.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by vxrandall on 04-06-2013

[QUOTE=MadMark62;13218023]So because you think he is a fkin shyster, everything he says is wrong? So you agree that Cleverley has not lost or drawn and is in fact better than Bellew, who he beat ? Or does that not count…

Comment by MadMark62 on 04-06-2013

[QUOTE=vxrandall;13217994]that would be because he is such an utter fkin shyster!! And bellew is the toughest name on cleverly's resume and he barely won that!! Credit to bellew for taking on tough opponents. He is still a contender to the…

Comment by vxrandall on 04-06-2013

[quote=madmark62;13217728]which is what warren said in the article !! I find it very strange that people just automatically go out on the offensive when warren says anything, it is like he has to be wrong about everything !! Also the…

Comment by MadMark62 on 04-06-2013

[QUOTE=mattr;13217239]But he did won 3 World Championship golds. I got the two mixed up.[/QUOTE] Which is what Warren said in the article !! I find it very strange that people just automatically go out on the offensive when Warren says…

Comment by Andre Wardttke on 04-06-2013

And the Donaire fight ain't tonight like the article suggests

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