It is T-Minus two days and counting until world championship boxing premieres in Macau and the Shiming Dynasty begins! P.T. Barnum, Florenz Ziegfeld and Cecil B. DeMille combined could not create the excitement and anticipation that is rocking this Asian region as it prepares for its Olympic athletic hero Zou Shimingto make his professional debut.
Right here, you can find a huge collection of notes, quotes and photos as the fighters arrived in Macau, held public workouts, participated in the final pre-fight press conference and more. Take a look and dive in below.
Headlining Zou Shiming: “Fists of Gold” – an eight-bout card featuring two world championship rumbles — Shiming, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion hailing from the Peoples Republic of China and trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, will dive into the professional waters against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO), of Gusave, Sinaloa, México, in a four-round flyweight bout.
The telecast will also feature two-time World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez defending his title against undefeated No. 1 contender Diego Magdaleno and World Boxing Association (WBA)/WBO flyweight champion Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria defending his unified titles against Top-10- contender Juan Francisco Estrada
Here are some quick notes:
- Saturday’s international telecast, produced by Top Rank, will be seen in over 40 countries.
- Close to 75% of the tickets in the 15,000-seat CotaiArena have been sold.
- Top Rank has flown over 100 people into Macau to produce this mega event.
- Zou Shiming is going to be a world champion in a short time – possibly inside one year. And I think he can do it in fewer fights than Leon Spinks, another Olympic Gold Medalist. Spinks dethroned Muhammad Ali in his seventh professional fight. I think Zou can do it by his sixth professional fight if not sooner.
- Zou has been at weight for most of this week. He is disciplined, smart and just plain good. He has impressed me on a daily basis. He is such a quick study.
- He’s a great student. He has so much talent. Anyone who can win two Olympic gold medals and three World Amateur Championships, you know he has to have talent. I think his amateur experience and accomplishments will take him a long, long way as a professional.
- Freddie has taught me a lot – including how to launch my power from my legs. How I can give my opponent body shots. A lot of things. He’s made me more skilled.
- In training camp with Freddie I have to avoid as many power punches from my sparring opponents as I can. I constantly need to remind myself this is not Olympic-style games. This is real. This is professional boxing.
- I am so excited for Saturday night. As big a night as it is for me it is even a bigger night for the sport of boxing and for boxing in China. My goal is to shine as bright a light on the sport in my country and to help advance its development here for amateurs and professionals alike.
Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd, in association with Tecate, this brilliant event will be televised to the U.S. on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO2. Calling the action from ringside at the CotaiArena™, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel will be broadcasting icons Tim Ryan and Larry Merchant and two-time heavyweight champion Big George Foreman.