Zou Shiming Brings Home the Bacon

By Robert Ecksel on February 9, 2016
Zou Shiming Brings Home the Bacon
The boxer/reality TV show star took care of business and the Brazilian to school. (AFP)

There is still some question about Zou’s relevance as a fighter, but as a Chinese pop cultural phenomenon there is no doubt…

“Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.”—Chinese Proverb

On Saturday, September 30, at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, Zou Shiming (7-1, 2 KOs), the 34-year-old former two-time Olympic gold medalist from Zunyi, China, TKO’d 21-year-old Natan Santana Coutinho (12-1, 10 KOs), from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to win the vacant WBO International flyweight title.

It was Zou’s first fight in 10 months. It was also his first fight since challenging and losing to IBF World flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng. But Zou hasn’t been sitting at home, biding his time and twiddling his thumbs. Not even close. Thanks to his starring role alongside his four-year-old son in the wildly successful reality TV show Dad, Where Are We Going? Zou’s popularity in China has soared.

“I’ve realized there is more to my life than boxing,” said Zou, according to the South China Morning Post. “That’s why I have explored the entertainment industry.

“But that doesn’t mean I’m not fully focused when it comes time to box. I am. And I am ready to start planning for another world title shot, starting with my next opponent.”

The boxer/reality TV show star took care of business and the Brazilian to school.

“I knew I had to win and I wanted to show my fans in China what boxing is all about,” said Zou, who had never fought as a pro on the mainland. “He came here to entertain but the best way to entertain was to win and I did that.”

There is still some question about Zou’s relevance as a fighter, but as a Chinese pop cultural phenomenon there is no doubt. A whopping 36.5 million viewers tuned in to watch Zou’s return to the ring. Of that 36.5 million, 6.5 million viewers watched at least some portion of the 28-fight card on CCTV 5, while another 30 million viewers watched the fights via live stream.

With China’s population at 1,379,856,496, as of yesterday, a handful of people didn’t see Zou’s latest fight.

But numbers don’t lie.

“These events are growing the sport of boxing in China at a tremendous rate,” said Zou’s promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum. “The voracious appetite of the fans and the sponsors proves that mainland China is very fertile territory for our sport. The potential is unlimited and should pay off big benefits in terms of exposure.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 1



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 2



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 3



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 4



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 5



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 6



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana Round 7



Shiming Zou vs Natan Santana FINAL ROUND



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  1. Koolz 06:05pm, 02/09/2016

    Maybe Zou will do some movies.  I always loved the those Old Kung Fu Movies of China.  Brings back memories when I was learning Kung Fu.  Leaning About China even.  Then Learning that all ancient Cultures are of the same Truth(Imagine That)

    Zou has to be careful of where he places his mind, one foot in the boxing ring, one foot in the entertainment industry, one not so focused person.

    What’s that saying?  “Man has one foot in sea and one on Shore”

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