Former two-time Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming beat Jesus Ortega in another performance that left more questions than answers in Macau on Saturday night. The scores were 59-55 on each of the cards. Fighting in his second professional bout, the former amateur star again failed to answer questions about his lack of punching power. Zou went the six-round distance but tired well before the bout ended. He resorted to clinching throughout the final three minutes against an equally inexperienced opponent.
With millions expected to tune in to watch China’s boxing hero on state television, much was riding on the shoulders of the man to become a superstar in the pro ranks. In front of an excited crowd, buoyed by two earlier 12-round toe-to-toe bouts, 32-year-old Zou came out technically proficient for the first three rounds, but failed to rattle the Mexican, who was competing in his fifth professional fight.
Ortega largely shrugged off Zou's combinations in the first two rounds, showboating in the second and dropping his guard, only to receive minimal punishment. In the third Zou ramped up the pressure with a slew of combinations, but he soon tired. He was grabbing at his opponent by the fifth round and spent much of the final round alternating between holding on to Ortega and trading wild punches.
Zou said after the bout he was "pleased with myself" and hoped the fight demonstrated he had learnt lessons since his debut last April. "I'm taking all this in. I'm taking all the experience and I know what I must work on.”
Roach said he thought his charge "needed to learn a little quicker" and that training alongside stablemate Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines in the coming months meant he was "going to see what it takes to become a world champion".