MACAO, CHINA – Just 15 months and five fights removed from his professional debut, two-time Chinese Olympic gold medallist and national icon ZOU SHIMING (4-0, 1 KO),of Guizhu, China, will step up and fight in his first 10-round bout, facing off against hard-punching veteran and three-time world title challenger LUIS "Chino" DE LA ROSA, (23-3-1, 13 KOs), of Barranquillla, Colombia. Zou, trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, and De La Rosa will headline Champions of Gold, the all-action championship boxing event This Saturday! July 19, at The Venetian® Macao's Cotai Arena.
Fighting for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International flyweight title, the battle between Top-10 contenders (Zou and De La Rosa are world-rated No. 6 by the World Boxing Association and No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation, respectively) will be televised via same-day delay on HBO2, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT. Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with Tecate, All Star Boxing, Caribe Promotions and Foreman Boys Promotions, the telecast will open with undefeated super middleweight contender GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMIREZ, world-rated in the Top-Five by all four major sanctioning organizations, defending his NABF/NABO super middleweight titles against "The One" JUNIOR TALIPEAU, who returns to the ring following a career-best victory.
“I am pleased with my progress as a professional fighter but I want to show more of what Freddie Roach has been teaching me. Freddie has been a great teacher and an even better friend and mentor. I’m finally comfortable with the pro style of fighting.
“It may be unusual to move this fast to a 10-round fight but I have confidence in my team and if they think I’m ready, then I will be ready.
“I am not nervous about facing a vastly-more experienced fighter like De La Rosa. I’m very excited about the opportunity. He is the type of fighter I need to beat to earn a world title shot.
“I do feel the pressure of my fans in China to meet their expectations. But my amateur experience, including three Olympics and two World Championships, has prepared me for that pressure. I feel that my style and power are improving and that has bolstered my confidence.”
LUIS DE LA ROSA
“I’m going to be facing a fighter with a great amateur background. But I’m a professional fighter with a lot of experience, and I’m here to win. Zou Shiming is a great fighter, but I’m really experienced at a professional level.
“When I was told about this fight, I immediately took it. I didn’t have to think twice. I have been training for four months.
“I’m ready to take home the victory. Zou Shiming should fear me, because on July 19, in front of all his fans at The Venetian Macao, I’m going make it a nightmare for him.”
“Shiming has come a long way in a very short time. I have seen quite a few amateurs take up to four years to learn the pro style. Shiming has done it in 15 months. He is getting the pro style of fighting down a lot quicker than previous Olympians I’ve worked with. The big difference is now he knows he must increase his lead as opposed to protecting a lead, which is what he was taught as an amateur.
“De La Rosa is the best opponent Shiming has faced as a professional. I am confident that Shiming is ready and prepared to go 10 rounds.
“The key for Shiming is to hurt De La Rosa early and set a fast pace for the fight after that. Shiming’s power has really developed. He has discovered power he never knew he had. His jab sets up an overhand right that is killer. He is sitting down on his punches. His combinations are outstanding. When he lands his power punches with 112 pounds behind them, Shiming will make his point to De La Rosa that he belongs.”
Remaining tickets for Champions of Gold can be purchased via Cotai Ticketing™. Prices start at HKD/MOP 80, with ferry and hotel packages also available.
Zou is one of China's most revered athletes and has single handily revived professional boxing's popularity in his native country. Trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, Zou won his professional debut, on April 6, 2013, via a dominant four-round unanimous decision over gritty Eleazar Valenzuela. He followed that up with six-round unanimous decision victories last year over Jesus Ortega and Juan Toscano on July 27 and November 24, respectively, and celebrated his 2014 debut with his first professional knockout February 22, stopping Yokthong Kokietgym in the seventh round. All of his professional bouts have taken place at the Cotai Arena. An Olympic legend, Zou was the world's greatest amateur light flyweight, capturing gold medals in the World Amateur Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2011, along with gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. He also owns an Olympic bronze medal from the 2004 games, making him his nation's first Olympic medallist in boxing as well as its first boxing gold medallist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics. A victory for Zou, currently world-rated No. 6 by the WBA, could place him one giant step closer to a world title challenge this year.
De La Rosa brings two-fisted punching power and an aggressive fighting style into the ring. A three-time interim world championship challenger and a former Colombian champion, four of De La Rosa's last six victories have come by way of knockout, including his last fight, a second-round knockout of Deivis Marvaez. De La Rosa is currently world-rated No. 10 by the IBF.
Ramirez (28-0, 22 KOs), of Mazatlan, Mexico, is world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), No. 3 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the WBA and, No. 4 by the IBF. A sensational young contender, Ramirez, 23, has won both his 2014 bouts by knockout. In his last outing, on April 11, he captured the NABF and NABO super middleweight titles via a fifth-round knockout of two-time world title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo.
Talipeau (20-2-1, 7 KOs), a New Zealand native who fights out of Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia, was a former Australian middleweight champion who successfully defended the title five times during his two-year reign before moving up to the super middleweight division. Boasting a victory over two-time world title challenger Shannan Taylor, Talipeau enters this fight having won two of his last three fights by way of knockout. His most recent victory was a 12-round unanimous decision over Walter Crucce for the WBA Latin American super middleweight title. He is currently world-rated No. 14 by the WBA.