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Shiming, Roach, Arum Pleased With First Macau Outing

Popular Chinese Olympian Zou Shiming said he was eyeing up a world title after he won his debut professional fight on Saturday, defeating little-known Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela on a unanimous points decision in Macau.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time amateur world champion emerged from a tight contest over four rounds, all three judges giving him victory 40-36. Zou reportedly pocketed $US 300,000 ($A289,000) for his night's work.

No Chinese boxer has been as successful as Zou, 31, in the amateur ranks and his eagerly anticipated professional debut, in a sport once banned in China under Mao Zedong, was expected to draw hundreds of millions of television viewers in China.

The "Fists of Gold" night at the opulent The Venetian resort-hotel in Macau, the gambling enclave close to Hong Kong which attracts China's high-rollers, saw United States promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank bring the razzmatazz of US boxing to China.

"Taking part in a professional fight is really a new experience. As a rookie though it's only a four-rounder, but as a rookie that's how you get started," the flyweight Zou, who had few marks to his face, said afterwards.

"Hopefully it will be from four rounds to six and to eight, and to the championship," he added, via an interpreter.

"I want to thank China as the country that has supported me, and supported my success in the Olympics. It doesn't matter where I go, I will always be Chinese."

"It was a great fight for him. There's something very different between amateur and professional fights," said Freddie Roach, the celebrated trainer who has taken Zou under his wing and has had him training in the United States.

"He did revert back to his amateur style at various points, but he will get better and better in his pro style and I think we have a future world champion on our hands."

Arum, who says he wants to have more top-class boxing in Macau, most likely this summer, added of Zou's big debut on the world stage: "I thought it was great.

"I've been in boxing a long time and I know what happens. Usually you take the kid and put him in with low-grade opponents.

"I couldn't do that here because it would have been a slap in the face to The Venetian and the people in China."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Alpha & Omega on 04-07-2013

Roach had to grab the best fighter out of a country of 1.6 billion people, go to the other side of the world, and put him in the ring for a 4 round fight with a guy who looked like…

Comment by mike gonzalez on 04-07-2013

Zou did not impress me at all. He looked wild and was showing off because he was the big attraction. They are just building him up. Did you see his opponent, what a joke. Lol.

Comment by SceneSpectator! on 04-07-2013

Macau is part of china, and most spectators were chinese! What do you expect from viewers who love their second pro fighter, if not to clap their hands tremendously every rounds regardless of who wins, because for them Zou wins…

Comment by chump123 on 04-06-2013

[QUOTE=edgarg;13219286]I was at a promotion in the Korakuen Hall many years ago. I thoyght the crowd weren't enjoying themselves, and I was. But at the ends of rounds and the fight itself there was applause. The biggest (physically) fighter in…

Comment by MachoCamacho on 04-06-2013

... not Shiming. ZOU is huge here in China. CCTV5 (China's ESPN) shows all the big boxing matches. Let's return the love of the sport by getting Chinese boxers' names right. Family name comes first in Chinese family names, Zou…

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