MACAU (4 April 2013) – It is T-Minus two days and counting until world championship boxing premieres in Macau and the Shiming Dynasty begins! P.T. Barnum, Florenz Ziegfeld and Cecil B. DeMille combined could not create the excitement and anticipation that is rocking this Asian region as it prepares for its Olympic athletic hero ZOU SHIMINGto make his professional debut. Headlining Zou Shiming: “Fists of Gold” – an eight-bout card featuring two world championship rumbles -- Shiming, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion hailing from the Peoples Republic of China and trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, will dive into the professional waters against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO), of Gusave, Sinaloa, México, in a four-round flyweight bout.
Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd,in association with Tecate, this brilliant event will be televised to the U.S. on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO2. Calling the action from ringside at the CotaiArena™,The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel will be broadcasting icons Tim Ryan and Larry Merchant and two-time heavyweight champion Big George Foreman.
The telecast will also feature two-time World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight champion ROMAN "Rocky" MARTINEZ defending his title against undefeated No. 1 contender DIEGO MAGDALENO and World Boxing Association (WBA)/WBO flyweight champion BRIAN "Hawaiian Punch" VILORIAdefending his unified titles against Top-10- contender JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA. Here are some quick notes:
· Today’s press conference will be streamed live at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT via www.toprank.tv.
· Saturday’s international telecast, produced by Top Rank, will be seen in over 40 countries.
· Close to 75% of the tickets in the 15,000-seat CotaiArena have been sold.
· Top Rank has flown over 100 people into Macau to produce this mega event. TODAY’S QUOTABLES: Freddie Roach
· Zou Shiming is going to be a world champion in a short time – possibly inside one year. And I think he can do it in fewer fights than Leon Spinks, another Olympic Gold Medalist. Spinks dethroned Muhammad Ali in his seventh professional fight. I think Zou can do it by his sixth professional fight if not sooner.
· Zou has been at weight for most of this week. He is disciplined, smart and just plain good. He has impressed me on a daily basis. He is such a quick study.
· He’s a great student. He has so much talent. Anyone who can win two Olympic gold medals and three World Amateur Championships, you know he has to have talent. I think his amateur experience and accomplishments will take him a long, long way as a professional. Zou Shiming
· Freddie has taught me a lot – including how to launch my power from my legs. How I can give my opponent body shots. A lot of things. He’s made me more skilled.
· In training camp with Freddie I have to avoid as many power punches from my sparring opponents as I can. I constantly need to remind myself this is not Olympic-style games. This is real. This is professional boxing.
· I am so excited for Saturday night. As big a night as it is for me it is even a bigger night for the sport of boxing and for boxing in China. My goal is to shine as bright a light on the sport in my country and to help advance its development here for amateurs and professionals alike.
Shiming, who trained with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., will make his pro debut against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO), of Gusave, Sinaloa, México, in a four-round flyweight bout . One of the most popular Olympic athletes in the People's Republic of China, Shiming is the world's greatest amateur light flyweight, capturing gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In the 2005, 2007, and 2011 World Amateur Championships, Shiming also brought home gold medals, making him his nation’s first boxing gold medalist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics. He became his nation’s first Olympic medalist in boxing when he earned bronze in 2004. Known for his extraordinary speed and superb footwork, thanks to years of martial-arts training, many of Shiming's opponents complain that they cannot keep up with him, much less see his punches coming. He has stated that his heroes are Muhammad Ali and Jackie Chan.
Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs), from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, captured his first world title in 2009, knocking out defending champion Nicky Cook out in the fourth round in front of Cook's countrymen in Manchester, England. Martinez successfully defended the title twice -- both by knockout -- during his one-year reign before losing it via a 12-round decision to Ricky Burns. He regained the title last September, winning a gritty split decision over top-rated contender Miguel Beltran, Jr. Martinez retained his title on January 19, surviving a challenge from Juan Burgos, which was judged Draw. Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev., enters this fight having won six of his last eight fights by way of knockout. He captured the vacant NABF super featherweight title in 2011 by knocking out Marcos Leonardo in the fifth round and successfully defended that title five times during his title reign, which lasted through 2012, against top contenders who had a combined record of 137-31-5 when he fought them, en route to his No. 1 contender position. Viloria (32-3, 19 KOs), a native Filipino who hails from of Waipahu, HI, is a two-division, three time world champion. The former U.S. Olympian captured his first world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight crown, in 2005, knocking out defending champion Eric Ortiz in the first round. He held the title for nearly one year before losing it Omar Nino. He earned his second world title in 2009, knocking out International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight champion Ulises Solis in the 11th round. After losing that title to Carlos Tamara the following year Viloria moved up to the flyweight division. He captured the WBO world title in 2011, upending defending champion Julio Miranda via a unanimous decision. After two successful defenses of his crown -- both by knockout -- Viloria unified the flyweight titles last November 17, knocking out WBA champion Hernan Marquez in the 10th round. Viloria enters this fight riding a three-year winning streak.
Estrada (22-2, 17 KOs), of Hermosillo, México, returns to the ring for his second straight world title shot. A natural flyweight, Estrada dropped down to challenge undefeated WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez last November 17, losing a unanimous decision. Now back at his natural fighting shape, Estrada will be looking to bring the flyweight world championship belts back to México.