Zou Shiming returns to Macau for Fists of Gold II

By James Goyder  /  Contributing reporter

Sun, Jul 14, 2013 - Page 18

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time amateur world champion Zou Shiming is scheduled to fight in Macau for the second time on July 27. The Chinese flyweight, who made his successful pro debut earlier this year, is taking on Jesus Ortega in the main event of Fists of Gold II.

Zou (1-0) is spearheading Top Rank’s expansion into the Chinese market and had a relatively easy workout at Fists of Gold I, when he beat Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela by unanimous decision in a four-round fight at the Cotai Arena.

The 31-year-old, who is the most successful amateur Chinese boxer of all time, will be returning to the scene of his first win as a professional to go up against another Mexican in Jesus Ortega (3-1).

As the sole Chinese representative on the Fists of Gold II card, attention will inevitably focus on Zou, but there will be plenty more experienced boxers in action, with two world titles on the line.

Filipino Milan Melindo has yet to taste defeat in the professional ranks and will get his first shot at a world title when he takes on Mexico’s Juan Estrada with both the WBO flyweight title and WBA super world flyweight title on the line.

Estrada (24-2) scored a major upset when he beat Brian Viloria at Top Rank’s inaugural Macau show. Melindo (29-0) was also in action that night, scoring a straightforward stoppage win against Tommy Seran, but faces a big step up in competition against the hard-hitting Mexican.

In the other world title fight taking place at Fists of Gold II, Evgeny Gradovich (16-0) will be putting his undefeated record and IBF featherweight title on the line. The Russian is taking on Argentina’s Mauricio Munoz (26-3), who is an IBF Latino champion.

The undercard showcases several unbeaten prospects, including Filipinos Genesis Servania (19-0) and Dave Penalosa (6-0), Australian Paul Fleming (18-0) and Hong Kong’s Rex Tso (9-0), while Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr (19-0) takes on American Joe Hanks in a heavyweight clash.

Looming large on the horizon is Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Brandon Rios, which is set for the Cotai Arena on Nov. 24, and both fighters will be in attendance at Fists of Gold II, where they are set to face off in front of the media for the first time.