Bob Arum Has Very Big Plans in Store For Zou Shiming

By Jake Donovan

You can understand the sense of urgency that would come with placing a 31-year old debutant on the fast track to a world title. But Top Rank doesn’t focus on the age so much as the overwhelming talent possessed by Zou Shiming, the three-time Olympic medalist who makes his pro debut Saturday evening in Macau, China.

HBO2 will televise the bout live from Shiming’s homeland as he takes on Eleazor Valenzuela in a four-round bout that serves as the main event on a show that also boasts two major title fights.

“People ask me how you can have a main event that is only four rounds. I tell them, you can have it when the fighter is Zou Shiming,” explained Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum during Thursday’s press conference at The Venetian Macau, where Saturday’s show takes place.

Not very much is expected in the evening’s highly anticipated headliner. Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1KO) doesn’t represent on paper anything resembling a threat, which should make for a spectacular pro debut from China’s most successful amateur fighter ever. Shiming captured Olympic bronze in the 2004 Athens Games before going the distance in back-to-back Gold medal winning efforts in 2008 – at home in Beijing, China – and during last year’s London Games.

Within a year, it’s expected by his new handlers to have another major trinket on the trophy case.

“We’re going to put him on the fast track to a world championship,” revealed Freddie Roach, the Hall-of-Fame trainer tasked with guiding Shiming’s pro career. “Within one year he will be a world champion. He has great heart and desire and that’s what we have to work with.”

Top Rank deliberately paired up Shiming’s pro debut with a title fight featuring unified champion Brian Viloria in a defense against Juan Francisco Estrada.

The two are still a full weight division apart, not mention the gulf between the two in experience. Viloria was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic squad – a full class ahead of Shiming’s initial run for China in 2004 – and has collected three belts over two reigns in more than a dozen years as a pro.

Still, the two are less than six months apart in age. Even with Shiming still days away from his first pro fight, the event’s handlers are already preparing the audience for its vision of the future.

“When we agreed to do this show, a question asked was, ‘Why a flyweight championship’ on the card. First of all, the guys contesting for the flyweight title are tremendous fighters,” suggested Arum, before getting to the main reason.

“There was another reason; because Zou Shiming is in this weight category,” Arum confesses. “As you look at him and you look at this title fight, these are the kind of fighters he will be facing when he moves up the ranks. This is a fight that will be of greater interest to the fans.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

Tags: Bob Arum image   Zou Shiming image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ELPacman on 04-04-2013

Arum loves tapping into untapped markets and he sees potential in China. Despite the fact this guy is 31 making his pro debut where some other fighters are already retiring at that age or thinking about it. You can hype…

Comment by S IP U IR S xII on 04-04-2013

I have no nothing on Zou.....only that recently hearing, he is trying to be hyped as the next action fighter. Is he even decent?

Comment by SceneSpectator! on 04-04-2013

Now I believe, arum age is taking its tool! He's making boxing a circus! He cited pointless things to justfy his insanity!:boxing:

Comment by Hougigo on 04-04-2013

Bob is grooming him to fight Viloria in Macau... and we all know what'll happen there. It's a shame though.... Viloria is going to murder the man. Worse than turning Segura into an Alien

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Jorge Arce Comes Out Firing in Defense of Canelo, Luis Nery Hearn Reacts To Wilder Calling Him 'White Man Milking a Brother' Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura Will Be Carried By ESPN Julian Williams vs. Nathaniel Gallimore Finalized For SHO Triple ESPN Names Mayweather 8th Most Dominant Athlete of Past 20 Years Kautondokwa: After Godoy, I am ready for Billy Joe Saunders! Jose Ramirez's First Defense Targeted For Ballpark in Fresno Tyson Fury's New Goal - Break Joe Louis' 25 Defense Record News: Payano vs. Plania, Braulio Rodriguez, Vicente Eyes Dogboe Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne, Frank Buglioni - Workouts Ramirez-Imam Tripleheader Averaged Only 488K Viewers for ESPN Anthony Joshua Won’t Discuss What He'll Weigh for Parker Fight News: Klara Svennson Update, Rocco Wadell Back on April 21 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray Moves To June 23rd Parker on Joshua: Somebody is Getting KO'd - It Won't Be Me! Prograis Sees 'Lots of Holes' in Jose Ramirez, Respects His Chin Mikey Garcia Explains Why He'd Want Spence Bout Over Crawford Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Afterthoughts Liam Smith: I Think Ali Might Be Tougher Fight Than Miguel Cotto Hughie Fury: I'll Be World Champion, I'm a World Level Fighter! Kudratillo Abdukakhorov Rising in Ranks After Malaysia Win Whyte Shakes Head: Joshua is Not Going To Fight Wilder Next Sanchez: If Canelo Dominates Golovkin, I'll Admit GGG Got Old Ismael Salas Denies Rumors of Split With Jorge Linares March Madness shocker yields memories of giant ring surprises Ellerbe Concerned, Would Advise Mayweather To Avoid MMA McGregor Opens as 10-1 Favorite in Mayweather MMA Fight Wilder: I'm Convinced Joshua, Hearn Are Definitely Scared of Me! Buitrago Pulled From Hard Rock Card Over Murder For Hire Beef Frampton Slams Quigg, Not Buying His Excuse For Missing Weight Golden Boy Matchmaker Reacts to 'Neno' Calling Out Ryan Garcia Kautondokwa is Ready For War on Namibian Independence Card Roach Impressed With Jose Ramirez, Wants to Improve Defense Lolenga Mock, Mogens Palle Part Ways Over Money Isaac Ekpo, Rafael Mensah Train With McKinley, Praise Don King Povetkin's Manager: Drug Tests in Order, No Worries For Price Alberto Melian Drills Countryman Julian Aristule in Two Rounds Felix Verdejo's Trainer Expects His Fighter To Return Stronger Michael Dutchover Continues Winning Run at Doubletree Joshua vs. Parker - Giuseppe Quartarone Confirmed as Referee

Latest Active Forum Threads