Chinese junior flyweight Zou Shiming, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world amateur champion who will make his professional debut as part of an April 6 card headlined by WBA and WBO flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria, landed in Los Angeles on Monday night.
Zou will be featured on a blockbuster card that is being planned for Macau with the main event being Viloria (32-3, 19 knockouts), who is 32, opposite hard-hitting 22-year-old Juan Francisco Estrada (22-2 with 18 KOs), according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
A 31-year-old boxer who is among China’s most popular Olympic athletes, Zou is considered the world’s greatest amateur junior flyweight, having captured gold medals in the World Amateur Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2011, and gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 summer Olympic Games.
Zou also earned an Olympic bronze medal in 2004, making him his nation’s first Olympic medalist in boxing as well as its first boxing gold medalist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics.
Viloria is coming off November’s Fight-of-The-Year caliber 10th-round stoppage of then-WBA beltholder Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, whom he floored three times on the way to unifying the 112-pound crowns for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Estrada challenged undefeated 108-pound beltholder Roman Gonzalez in the co-feature to Viloria-Marquez, dropping a competitive and thrilling unanimous decision to the talented Nicaraguan.
(Click here for a photo gallery of Zou’s arrival in LA.)
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com