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Arum: Viloria can’t handle Zou Shiming in sparring

By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and trainer Freddie Roach are extremely excited about the debut of light flyweight Zou Shiming, who will be fighting this Saturday night in a scheduled four-right fight against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO’s) at the Cotai Arena, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.

Although this fight is just an undercard match-up, the 31-year-old Shiming is the main attraction for the card given that Arum has placed the fight in China and with thousands of Chinese fans having already purchased tickets for the card.

A reported 75% of the tickets for the 15,000 seat venue have already been sold, and this has made Arum very happy because he’s looking to break into the Chinese markets for his Top Rank stable fighters.

Arum plans on putting his number #1 stable fighter Manny Pacquiao in Macao this September, and Arum is going to put Shiming on the undercard and make that a pay-per-view fight across China. Tomorrow night’s fight will be televised on free television in China, but not the next one according to Dan Rafael.

Arum said to ESPN “[Brian] Viloria can’t handle him [Shiming] in sparring. Freddie is over the moon.”

Roach said “We’re going to put him on the fast track because his experience is really, really that great.”

Shiming captured a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2004, and gold medals in 2008 and 2012. At 31, Shiming has to be brought along quickly by Top Rank because they don’t have the time to bring him along slowly to have him fighting for a world title in four or five years.

By that time, Shiming will be in his mid-30s and there aren’t too many fighters in the lower weight classes that are still fighting at that age. It’s either push Shiming at hyper speed or they’ll up with a guy that makes good money each time he fights, but who would get to the top too late in his career for him to succeed.

It’s interesting that Arum is saying that Shiming is getting the better of Viloria in sparring because I heard it was the opposite way, but whatever the case it’s sparring and an actual fight would likely be a whole different ball game. Shiming isn’t a big puncher and he’s been a 4-round fighter in the amateurs. He’s going to have big questions asked of him once he’s fighting 12 round fights with the headgear off and facing big punchers.

Don’t look for Top Rank to put Shiming in with anyone good until he fights for a title, and even then it’s going to likely be the softest of the light flyweight champions. They’re not going to put him in with WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez because that guy can really punch and he’d give Shiming lots of problems with his power and youth.

Viloria is facing Juan Francisco Estrada (22-2, 18 KO’s) on the card in what looks to be a mismatch. Look Viloria to destroy Estrada early.

Also on the card will be former WBO super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. battling Yasutaka Ishimoto, and WBO super featherweight champion Roman Martinez defending his title against Diego Magdaleno.


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