Zou Shiming heads back into ring for Champions of Gold in Macau | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 30, 2015
  • Updated: 2:56pm
Zou Shiming
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BOXING

Zou Shiming heads back into ring for Champions of Gold in Macau

Double Olympic champion will take top billing in card that includes Cuban great Rigondeaux

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 12:57am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 December, 2014, 1:31pm
 

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Zou Shiming will return to the ring for Champions of Gold next month in Macau in a card that will also include Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of the all-time great amateurs turned world champion.

Zou will fight in the city for the first time since winning in Ring of Gold in February, and the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games Olympic champion, said he was excited to be part of a bill that will see the Cuban great make his Macau debut on July 19.

In Cuba, I was impressed with the overall understanding and enthusiasm of boxing in the country. I wish China could be the same
Zou Shiming

"In my amateur days, I used to train in Cuba and I used to spar and train with Rigondeaux, so I know him well," said Zou, who was in Macau to promote the event at the CotaiArena.

"While I was in Cuba, I was impressed with the overall understanding and enthusiasm of boxing in the country. I wish China could be the same."

Rigondeaux, who defected to the United States in 2009 to become a pro fighter, was an Olympic gold medallist at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games.

The bantamweight's defection caused national consternation from then Cuban leader Fidel Castro who lamented: "The Cuban athlete who deserts his delegation is like a soldier who deserts his unit in the midst of combat."

The 33-year-old, nicknamed the Jackal, has a professional record of 13 wins and no losses, and has scored several impressive wins.

One of those, most notably, was against the "Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire Jnr by unanimous decision in 2013 that saw him unify the122-pound WBA and WBO super bantamweight world titles. Rigondeaux will defend his titles against 36-year-old Thai Sod Looknongyantoy in Macau.

Zou, meanwhile, will be looking for his fifth straight professional victory against a yet-to-be-named opponent in the main event in Macau next month.

The mainlander will be graduating to a 10-round bout, taking him one step closer to a possible world title challenge in November.

Champions of Gold will also see the return of three-time former world flyweight champion Filipino-American Brian Viloria (33-4-0, 19 KOs), and 2012 Russian Olympic gold medallist Egor Mekhontsev (3-0-0), who fought in Macau in February.

Mexico's unbeaten super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (22-0) will also fight on the undercard. Opponents will be announced later this month.

Hong Kong's Rex Tso Sing-yu has been tentatively scheduled to fight in Macau again, just six weeks after Saturday's Featherweight Fury.

Meanwhile, a new free China boxing channel will be launched in August to help promote the sport on the mainland.

The joint venture between promoters Top Rank and Chinese sports marketing and PR company Seca will air a prime-time, weekly boxing telecast in China.

"We will feature boxing from around the world," said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

"We will show highlights with what's happening in boxing and feature great archives footage, particularly from our [Top Rank] vaults that go back almost 50 years.

"Muhammad Ali fights, all the greats. Ren Yingying [the wife of Zou], will host the programme."

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