Zou Shiming, 32, and with only one professional fight behind him, is dreaming of making it big in the United States.
Zou, who won two Olympic Games gold medals and is a three-time amateur world champion, takes on Mexico's Jesus Ortega in Macau on July 27.
He intends to become the first Chinese boxer to make a name for himself in a sport that was once banned in his country.
Zou’s promoters, Top Rank, are hoping the flyweight's fame in China will open the door to a lucrative and untapped market. But the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion is looking in the opposite direction.
"When I started boxing, I saw on television that a lot of fights were held in the US. So it's my dream to fight there," he said on Wednesday.
"China is paying more attention to boxing now. I will start by fighting in Macau or Asia, and then, I hope, I will have the chance to fight in the US."
The softly spoken Zou, who is from Guizhou province in southwestern China, says he wants to challenge for a world title "within one or two years". But he admits it is a steep learning curve.
He beat Eleazar Valenzuela on points on his professional debut in Macau last April, failing to deliver the knock-out that the 15 000 spectators were baying for.
"I was very inexperienced," he said at a promotional event in Hong Kong, speaking through a translator.
"I have been boxing for many years; mainly in the Olympics. I showed many shortcomings in my first pro fight, but I will mature after more bouts."
Zou has been training in Hollywood, where Freddie Roach is trying to iron out his amateur habits.
“At the Olympics you can win quickly. But in pro boxing there are more rounds, so it is more demanding, physically. The way you use your strength to punch, or be punched, makes it much more intense."
Roach, who has trained some of the best boxers, including Manny Pacquiao, has admitted he was disappointed by Zou's debut performance.
Zou’s fight against Ortega, whose record stands at 3-1, 2 KOs), will be broadcast live on state television in China. Roach hopes Zou will use his speed to pull off a convincing win.
"I've seen an improvement in the last few months. In his previous fight the crowd got to him. He didn't perform as well as I thought he would. But we've had another good training camp and the sparring has been going well.
"I have told him must give the crowd what they want; a good fight, not just playing around as he did in the first fight.
"We are on a fast track. But after so long as an amateur … he can get better opponents as we go.”
Roach had earlier spoken of a world title fight within two years, but he now admits it might be a stretch. "If he looks sensational in this fight, as he should, then we will talk about moving on."
Tags: Zou Shiming