Zou Shiming: Fists of Gold IIWritten by Sam Gregory
Zou Shiming is a very rare type of fighter.
Not only did he win back to back Olympic Gold for China in the 2008 and 2012 games, but earlier this year he started his professional career at the age of 32 with the goal of becoming a world champion.
That in itself is out of the ordinary - Especially for a Chinese fighter because professional boxing had been banned there for quite some time.
Besides his natural talent as a prize fighter, the biggest asset Shiming has is hall-of-fame trainer Freddie Roach in his corner. But Freddie can't perform miracles; he's still working with a 32 year old who turned pro just three months ago.
"I don't have the convenience of time with Shiming cause he's a little bit older but him being in 3 Olympics; I think we can push him a little faster," Roach said. Freddie Roach has been training his fighter in DEF boxing gym in Hong Kong.
Shiming will have his second pro fight this Saturday, July 27, when he fights Jesus Ortega 3-1 with 2 KO's of Mexico in a scheduled 6 round bout in the flyweight division at the Venetian Casino and Resort televised live in the U.S. on HBO2.
Trainer Freddie Roach has been very candid in his thoughts on his flyweight's progress as a future champion. Roach tweeted that if Shiming intends to reach his goal he better start fighting more like a pro.
"He has to really learn to sit down on his punches more, get rid of that amateur style that he has had for such a long time."
Shiming does have that championship caliber talent in him, Roach explained, "His people told me we need to be more impressive. I said, 'Hey, you know, usually it takes four years for an Olympian to go to a world title. But you guys are on the fast track.' We're trying as fast as we can."
"It's just getting him used to that and getting him to do it. On the mitts, he's beautiful. But in sparring, we're not quite there yet. It's a process, and it takes time to change people."
Shiming is a good student of the Sweet Science and he appears to be following Freddie's instructions closely. He also agrees with Freddie's assessment of his performance:
"There's a big difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing. Amateur boxing, I'm successful and I have many rich experiences in amateur boxing. But now in professional boxing, I'm still a freshman, so I need to try more in professional boxing, how the fighters win by knockout."
Shiming's opponent Saturday is Mexican boxer Jesus "Jibarito" Ortega. He said he's ready to make a statement in Macau, China when he battles the Chinese superstar.
"I feel very motivated about this fight, which can project my career even though we're just starting. Shiming is a fighter renowned for everything he did as an amateur, but let's show him professional boxing is another thing and take the opportunity. I watched Shiming's debut against Eleazar Valenzuela and I know that I can win.
He added, "I know I have the talent to overcome him. I worry about the fight being in China. I'll have to win round after round and if I have the opportunity to knock him out, I'll do it," Ortega said.
In his fight with Valenzuela, Shiming dominated the four round bout, but was unable to knock down or knockout his opponent. Roach said, "He won it on points, and that doesn't really cut it in the professional game. People want to see knockouts."
"Shiming has power in both hands. He hits very hard. He can be a knockout artist, because he shows that in the gym. After a few fights he will settle down," said Roach.
Promoter Bob Arum is excited about the Chinese flyweight. Before his debut fight last April Arum said he'd be willing to match Shiming against "Anybody in the world up to bantamweight."
Shiming will probably win this six round flyweight fight but the real test will be how well-received a Chinese flyweight will be on the undercard of a world championship fight in Vegas.
Sam Gregory has been a professional boxing writer since 2002 for publications such as BoxingTalk.com, Boxing Digest, EastsideBoxing.com The Cyberboxing Zone, StraightJab.com, boxingnews24.com and TheSweetScience.com. He has covered numerous fights and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the sport.
As a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, Gregory specializes in boxing history, and contributes regularly to that organization's quarterly publication. He is the author of numerous biographical articles about legendary fighters, classic match-ups, memorable boxing trilogies and other subjects.
He started covering live boxing matches for the website, "Boxingtalk" in February of 2002. The first live event he covered was the Bernard Hopkins-Carl Daniels fight on February 2nd, 2002 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He also wrote several boxing related articles, interviews with boxers and trainers for Boxingtalk.
Among some of the interviews he's done was an interview with Kermit Cintron when he trained at Kings Gym in Reading. He interviewed and wrote an article about the trainers of Wrecking Crew Boxing, Norm Bagi and Lenny De Jesus in New York City. Sam visited Norm and Lenny when they were working out of a gym in the Bronx to photograph them and some of the fighters they were training. 2 or 3 separate articles came out of that one visit, including interviews with and about foreign boxers coming to the U.S. He also wrote a profile for one of their female boxers from the U.K. in order to help obtain an athletes visa for her.
All together he covered about a dozen live events as a correspondent from February of 02' thru the following year, 03'.
The first article he published in Boxing Digest was in the October 02' issue. The article was with Bernard Hopkins at ringside and the questions Sam asked him about up-coming fights, his career, etc...
Sam had about seven more articles published in Boxing Digest until they folded in 2010. The other articles were interviews with fighters, match-ups for up-coming fights and an article about Lennox Lewis at the time of his retirement. The last article he wrote for Boxing Digest was a profile of Jose' Torres when he passed away in 2009.
Sam is a member of the International Boxing Research Organization and has written several articles for their quarterly publication along with participating in the pound for pound weight class ratings for their website. IBRO also held their own Hall-of-Fame voting this year which he also participated in.
He wrote articles and stories for The Sweet Science website from early 04' until the spring of 05'. He was paid in advance by TSS to write 20 articles of my choice about anything regarding boxing from a historical point of view. He wrote biographies, stories about great fight trilogies, match-ups, etc... The Sweet Science had him do an interview with Sharmba Mitchell in 2004 before his second fight with Kostya Tszyu. That interview was also posted on Showtime's website.
Since he wrote his first article for Boxingtalk in February 02', he had articles about upcoming fights, interviews with boxers, trainers and promoters, along with covering boxing matches on TV and live events. published on several boxing websites including, Eastsideboxing, StraightJab.com, BoxingInsider.com, The Cyberboxingzone, aneutralcorner.com and boxingnews24.com. He also had articles and letters published in Boxing Digest and KO magazines.