Freddie Roach: Zou Shiming can be world champion inside one year

4 Apr

Words: Alan Dawson – London

Photos: Chris Farina – Top Rank

Amateur standout Zou Shiming has left a lasting impression on five-time Futch-Condon award winning coach Freddie Roach that the trainer believes Shiming – a 31-year-old who makes his professional boxing debut at junior flyweight against Eleazar Valenzuela at the Cotai Arena in Macao, China on Saturday, April 6 – could be a world champion inside one year.

Shiming, Top Rank Chris Farina

Freddie laces the gloves of his latest student Zou

“Zou Shiming is going to be a world champion in a short time – possibly inside one year,” said Roach during the build-up to this weekend’s slobberknocker. “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.”

Whilst Shiming has little experience fighting for pay, his credentials within amateur boxing are as deep as they are majestic, with three World Amateur Championship gold medals and two Olympic golds prominent on his honours roll. Roach has marveled at his latest student’s ability to learn and boasted of his impressive “talent”.

He continued: “I think his amateur experience and accomplishments will take him a long, long way as a professional. 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.”

Shiming boxes Velanzuela on a packed Top Rank card that also features Brian Viloria’s flyweight fight with Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Martinez’s super featherweight attraction with Diego Magdaleno and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr’s punch-up with Yasatuka Ishimoto.

Shiming Roach Chris Farina

Roach attempts to catch a Shiming left hook

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