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Why did HBO open the Donaire-Rigondeaux show with 5-minute feature on Zou Shiming?

shiming33By Chris Williams: If you watched last night’s HBO broadcast for the Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux fight you have to wonder what HBO was doing by starting the telecast with a 5 minute feature on Chinese flyweight prospect Zou Shiming (1-0) instead of getting to what was truly important in terms of the Donaire-Rigondeaux fight.

It just seemed so badly out of place that I felt I was watching an infomercial on a product that HBO was trying to push instead of a boxing telecast. Why HBO took the time to show unnecessary footage of Shiming is the big question. I thought it was a mistake at first but then I got the impression that HBO is trying to win sell Shiming to the public.

I saw his fight with little known 3rd tier fighter Eleazar Valenzuela last weekend and I didn’t see anything in the performance from Shiming to see him as someone that is worthy of having his fights televised on HBO, especially for a main event.

Shiming is a 31-year-old former two-time Olympic gold medalist for China, but who is getting a late, late start in the pro game without the power and seemingly the technique to lead him to the top of the game.

I don’t remember HBO ever giving Guilermo Rigondeaux, who also is a two-time former Olympic gold medalist, a five minute spot at the top of fight cards that he’s not fighting on and I see Rigondeaux is being a MUCH better fighter than Shiming can ever dream to be. ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas feels that Shiming’s two gold medal victories were controversial because he felt he should have lost along the way. There was nothing controversial about Rigondeaux winning his two gold medals in the Olympics.

I personally don’t see Shiming as having the talent to capture a world title at flyweight unless it’s against one of the weaker champions and I’m not even sure about that. I don’t understand why HBO is starting off their broadcasts with a five minute feature on him. Is this something they’re going to do every telecast until he picks up a fan base in the U.S? I don’t see the guy as having the talent to win over a lot of boxing fans because he didn’t impress against the 3rd tier guy they put him in with. Normally ex-Olympians make short work of C level fighters, but Shiming was getting tagged by this kid and not impressing at all.

HBO can put on whoever they want to and the boxing fans will have to either decide to watch it or not, but I’d like they’d be a more selective in picking out guys that have an eye-catching style of fighting and true talent that can take them to the top. I just don’t see that with Shiming. To me, he looks like a sloppy, aging fighter without power, who might need to be carefully matched to keep him unbeaten long enough for him to get a title shot.

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