Despite having only six professional fights under his belt, ZOU SHIMIING, the two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist and three-time world amateur champion is ready for his close-up.
Just 23 months removed from his professional debut, Zou (6-0, 1 KO), of Guizhdou, China, the No. 1 world-rated contender and an icon in the People’s Republic of China, will challenge amateur rival and defending International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight world champion AMNAT RUENROENG (14-0, 5 KOs), of Si Racha, Thailand, in the main event of The Showdown at Sands: Zou Shiming vs. Amnat Ruenroeng, 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.
At a recent Media Workout at Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., Zou discussed the upcoming fight:
“Expect me to be champion. Tthis will be the biggest test for me,” said Shiming.
“I am very calm, not nervous. I have been prepared for this moment for a long time. I am focused on myself — on executing Freddie’s gameplan. I felt a lot more pressure when I was in the Olympics. This time the pressure is on Ruenroeng.
“I feel very confident with the professional fighting style now. In my last fight, which went 12 rounds [12-round unanimous decision victory over Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym], I really felt like a professional fighter. That was a turning point for me — a landmark fight.
“The three Olympics, the World Amateur Championships and the past two years as a professional have prepared me for March 7. I don’t need any more fights to prepare me for challenging for a world title.
“Ruenroeng and I fought each other three times as amateurs. What I remember most is that he is good at gauging the distance between us to land his punches. He’s very lengthy with his reach. He was also very good at timing his punches.
“I am asked a lot which means more, winning Olympic gold or a world title. They are equally important to me. The March 7 fight is the next step for me. It is the biggest thing for me right now, but for me personally, not bigger than winning the gold medals.
“I really want to win the world title and bring it back to China. It would be the first time a Chinese fighter won Olympic gold and a world championship belt as a professional. No one has ever done that. I want to make my country proud and advance the sport of boxing throughout China. I am ready for my date with destiny.”
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.
Remaining tickets to The Showdown at Sands: Zou Shiming vs. Amnat Ruenroeng, priced from HKD/MOP 180 to 4,680, may be purchased online via Cotai Ticketing (www.cotaiticketing.com) or at the following Cotai Ticketing box offices, including The Venetian Macao (Cotai Arena and Main Lobby box offices), Four Seasons Hotel Macao (The Plaza™ Macao box office), Sands® Macao (Level 1 box office) or Sands® Cotai Central (Sheraton Main Lobby and Holiday Inn Main Lobby box offices.) To charge by phone call +853 2882 8818 (Macao) or +852 6333 6660 (Hong Kong). Hotel packages at The Venetian Macao, Conrad Macao-Cotai Central, Sheraton Macao Hotel-Cotai Central and Holiday Inn-Cotai Central are available through Cotai Ticketing only, starting at HDK/MOP 3,800 (plus 5% government tax and 10% service charge.) Packages include two tickets and one night’s room accommodation.
For fight 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.