At the age of 35, Zou is a three-year pro. A contender at 112 pounds, he is a former elite international amateur and the greatest amateur boxer in the history of the light-flyweight division – he is the only boxer to win two Olympic light-flyweight gold medals, and was a three-time gold medalist at the World Championships.
He is one of China’s most popular athletes, and has also become a television celebrity. In 2015, Zou and his four year-old son, Eros, starred in “Where Are We Going, Dad?”, a hit reality-TV show featuring five fathers traveling with their sons to rural locations in China that has drawn up to 75 million viewers. Zou also had a small part in the Hollywood movie “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” in 2014.
In November, 2014, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against Prasitak Papoem, who was fighting under the name Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym at the time.
This is the rematch.
Zou made his United States debut in his last fight on June 11 in New York, and won a 10-round unanimous decision against Jozsef Ajtai.
The Associated Press’ Barry Wilner reported from ringside [excerpts]: Chinese star Zou Shiming had no trouble with his teenage opponent, outclassing Jozsef Atjai of Hungary to set up some bigger flyweight fights.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion was in such control through the 10 rounds that he was smirking and sticking out his chin at his opponent in the later stages.
One of China’s most popular athletes – an audience of perhaps 20 million was expected to watch the fight on TV there – the 35-year-old Zou was making his U.S. debut.
He beat Atjai 100-89 on all three cards to improve his record to 8-1 as a pro. That includes a loss in his only world title attempt for the IBF flyweight crown in March 2015.
Atjai had plenty of energy, but applied it to running, not boxing. [End Wilner item]
After the fight, Zou said, “My competitor’s objective was to stand to the last minute of the fight. He was afraid of the competition.”
During the build-up to this fight, Zou said, “The boxing ring has always been a world stage where I have been able to fulfill my dreams. It has given me countless opportunities to challenge myself and surpass my limits, which I have always found more important than defeating an opponent.
“Though my first world title fight was not as successful as I had hoped, I have focused even more on developing and improving myself mentally and physically to meet the challenge of fighting for another world title. I have worked hard to get this second opportunity and I will work even harder in training camp to succeed.
“On November 5, I will enter the ring fueled by the strength of the Chinese people. Together we will make our mark on boxing history.”
Trainer Freddie Roach added, “Prasitak may look like Manny Pacquiao, but he sure doesn’t fight like him. He’s dirty as hell. The last time we fought him, Prasitak was head butting and landing low blows on Shiming throughout the fight.
“But just to play it safe, I’ll have Shiming spar with Manny when we get back from Manila so we’re extra prepared.”
Known for his extraordinary speed and superb footwork – thanks to years of martial-arts training – Zou has said that his heroes areMuhammad Ali and Jackie Chan.