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More than 200 million watched Shiming card last Saturday night on TV?

LatestBy Chris Williams: According to Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is reporting that over 200 million Chinese boxing fans watched on TV the pro debut over former two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming (1-0) last Saturday night at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.

Shiming, 32, defeated 18-year-old novice Eleazar Valenzuela (2-2-2, 1 KO’s) by a 4 round unanimous decision by the scores 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36.

Iole said on his twitter: “NO way to confirm this, so I’m just repeating: @BobArum says officials in Macau told him more than 200m Chinese watched Shiming card on TV. I find that hard to believe and don’t have sources within the Chinese TV industry. I know Macau officials were ecstatic with how the show did.”

I’m with Iole on this. I don’t believe Arum’s 200 million+ numbers. I can’t see that many fans watching a sport that isn’t even popular in China. Unless Chinese television only has a limited number of channels for viewers to watch, I can’t see a huge chunk of their population like the 200 million figure mentioned wanting to tune in and watch Shiming and the Fists of Gold fight card that night.

There are 1.4 billion people in China, but 200 million is still a big portion of 1.4 billion. If all we have to go on is Arum saying there were over 200 million viewers that saw the card then I’m not buying it. I won’t believe it until one of the top Chinese sources comes forward and is able to confirm that over 200 million fans watched the fight card.

The real test of how well these cards are doing is if and when Arum is able to make them PPV fights with Top Rank fighters and himself making huge cash. If his fighters are reporting that they’re making huge PPV money that they could never get in a million years in the U.S, then I’ll believe the 200 million numbers, but until then I’m not believing them.

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