Gong xi fa cai! Good luck and prosperity in 2015! The Chinese New Year has begun. Tradition dictates that you bid farewell to the old year with graciousness and gratitude and welcome in the new year — this is the Year of the Sheep (or Ram or Goat, depending on whom you ask) — sharing time and celebrating with family and friends over sumptuous feasts.
Unless you are a Chinese icon named ZOU SHIMING who two weeks away from the most important fight of his boxing career — challenging undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight world champion AMNAT RUENROENG.
“We are preparing for the Shiming Dynasty. There are no holidays in training camp when a world title is at stake,” said Hall of Fame trainer World-Famous Freddie Roach. “Shiming will have to sacrifice the traditional feasts celebrating the Year of the Sheep to focus on making the 112-pound weight limit and honing his boxing skills. Ewe could say that makes Zou Shiming a mutton for punishment.”
You say you want a resolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the world…champion. In a tip of the hat to the American tradition of making New Year’s resolutions, Zou Shiming offered his today:
· Become a World Champion and to develop the sport and business of Boxing in China. To become more of a fan of the sport rather than just a competitor.
· Take some time off to rest, travel and vacation with my family
· Eat more Hot Pot (http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-chinese-hot-pot-at-home-guide.html). And to eat more, period!
· Put on some weight (See “Eat More Hot Pot” resolution!)
· Shop for new clothes that are not workout related! I have been in training camp so long I feel like a model for the Wild Card Boxing Club clothing line!
Two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion Zou (6-0, 1 KO), from Guizhou, China, is training to become China’s first Olympic champion to win a world title in the professional ranks. Zou challenges Ruenroeng (14-0, 5 KOs), from Si Racha, Thailand, in the main event of The Showdown at Sands, Saturday, March 7, at The Venetian® Macao’s Cotai Arena. Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with Tecate, SECA, Kreerin Promotions, Sampson Boxing and Foreman Boys Promotions, the Zou Shiming – Amnat Ruenroeng World Flyweight Championship fight will be televised via same-day delay on HBO2, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT. The HBO2 telecast will open with a 10-round NABO junior middleweight title tilt between GLEN TAPIA (22-1, 14 KOs), of Passaic, NJ, and one-time world title challenger DANIEL DAWSON (40-4-1, 26 KOs), of Perth, Australia. Veteran boxing blow-by-blow man and WNBC-TV’s lead sports anchor Bruce Beck and award-winning broadcaster and analyst Rich Marotta will be calling the action from ringside.
The undercard will feature JOSE FELIX, Jr. (28-1-1, 23 KOs), from Los Mochis, Mexico, battling RAYMOND SERMONA, (17-4-5, 8 KOs), of Manila, in an eight-round lightweight bout which will be televised via same-day delay on UniMás, and Top-10 contenders IK YANG (17-0, 12 KOs), of Dalian, China and PATOMSUK PATHOMPOTHONG (30-2-1, 18 KOs), of Kalasin, Thailand, squaring off in a 12-round IBF junior welterweight title elimination bout.
Making the Zou-Ruenroeng fight even more intriguing is the history these two warriors already have with each other. Their amateur trilogy began with Ruenroeng winning their first battle — as a late substitute called up by the Thailand amateur team — at the 2007 King’s Cup, which was also Ruenroeng’s first international competition. Zou won the next two times they fought, including a reverse in their semi-final of the 2010 Asian Games that could have gone either way — and did. Now that they are professionals, the stakes are much higher and their simmering rivalry is set to become a roiling boil.
For updates go to www.toprank.com, or www.hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo, or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing. Use the Hashtag #ShowdonAtSands to join the conversation on Twitter.