U.S. boxing fans will be able to witness the premiere of world championship boxing in Macau with Zou Shiming: Fists of Gold, featuring two world title fights and the professional debut of the Peoples Republic of China’s two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion Zou Shiming. 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 from 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 WBO junior lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez defending his title against undefeated #1 contender Diego Magdaleno and WBA/WBO flyweight champion Brian “hawaiian Punch” Viloria defending his unified titles against Top-10- contender Juan Francisco Estrada.
“We are delighted that HBO recognizes as we do the historic nature of the Macau event and is making it available on a same-day basis to its subscribers on HBO 2,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.
Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, added: “When introducing a new product to the biggest market in the world, we are thrilled that the biggest brands associated with boxing joins us. HBO is the gold standard for the sport and we are honored to have their support and commitment to expanding the boxing brand.”
“This is an exciting boxing initiative and we’re delighted to be the U.S. television home for this international event,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president, programming, HBO Sports.
Shiming, who is currently training 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, knockiing 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.