People’s Republic of Bob Arum

By Robert Ecksel on January 23, 2013
People’s Republic of Bob Arum
More foreignness is barreling down China's Silk Road and it's headed straight at you.

Someday there will be a Chinese boxing champion. Someday there will even be a Chinese heavyweight boxing champion. The population of China, over 1.3 billion and counting, makes it all but inevitable. That day may not come soon, which will be too soon for some, but it will come. For those who have had difficulty embracing the seemingly foreign Klitschkos, more foreignness is barreling down the Silk Road and it’s headed straight at you.

Yesterday at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, Bob Arum formally announced that Top Rank had signed two-time Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming. The former amateur light flyweight sensation is known for his speed and footwork, prerequisites for any fighter hoping to make his mark in the division.

“Zou is an incredible talent who is beloved in the People’s Republic of China,” Arum said. “We at Top Rank will make every effort to make certain that he has a spectacular career as a professional boxer.

Arum is like a chess master who is always a half-dozen moves ahead of everyone else. We saw it decades ago when Don King had a lock, or perhaps padlock or headlock better describes it, on the heavyweight division and Arum looked to the lighter weight classes. Arum was also canny enough to respond to the demographic shift in the United States and made signing Hispanic warriors to Top Rank a top priority.

The signing of Zou Shiming, who at 31 is no spring chicken, is Top Rank’s first major move into the Eastern market, and we can expect similar moves in the not-too-distant future.

Zou, whose heroes are Muhammad Ali and Jackie Chan, will make his professional debut on April 6 at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau. There’s no precedent for a fighter getting that late a start going all the way, but there are so many belts and watered-down titles, that it won’t be long before one plastic bauble or another adorns Zou’s narrow waist.


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London 2012: Zou Shiming to ring bell on boxing career

Light Fly (46-49kg) Finals - Zou Shiming (CHN) VS Shin Jong (KOR) - 2011 AIBA World Champs

Light Fly (46-49kg) R16 - Zou Shiming (CHN) VS Barriga Mark (PHI) - 2011 AIBA World Champs

Kaew Pongprayoon vs. Zou Shiming - Men Boxing at the 2012 Olympics (Rematch)

2007 WC [Amateurs] Zou Shiming [CHN] - Nordine Oubaali [FRA] 48 kg.mpg

Light Fly (46-49kg) QF - Pongprayoon Kaeo (KHA) VS Zou Shiming (CHN) -2011 AIBA World Champs

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  1. Mike Schmidt 06:58am, 01/23/2013

    Market market market—Macau—Sands—Sheldon and company and a Casino universe that is going to make Las Vegas probably look like a very tired Disney World shortly down the line—better tax rates and a huge gaming market—the 31-year-old scrapper will do more than just fine for the opening salvo into a huge gaming universe—I want to know what vitamins Uncle Bob takes so I can get down to the store early in the morning and pick some up—love him, don’t love him, but what energy for the great sport of boxing—does anybody do it better—NOPE

  2. Matt P 05:02am, 01/23/2013

    Great article.  Too true.  China by sheer numbers will have to emerge as a boxing power if it keeps at it.

  3. Meinhard Schmidt 05:01am, 01/23/2013

    Indeed China has lots of talent to offer and Arum sees the potential, also marketing-wise. Zhou is too old by now, and I don´t consider his style suited for the pros… a Latino warrior marching forward would break him down in the later rounds. but his first fights will be a joy to watch. his style is unique, he blends high-speed boxing with Chinese wushu moves!

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