Chinese Flyweight Shiming Zou returns to action this coming January 30th after an absence of almost eleven months.
We last saw Zou in March of 2015, when he took a unanimous decision loss to Amnat Ruenroeng in a bid to win the IBF World Flyweight title. Zou was a huge favorite entering the fight and the loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the two time Olympic gold medalist. Additionally, Zou emerged from the bout with an injured shoulder that required surgery, so he was only able to log one bout in 2015.
Despite the loss, promoter Bob Arum has not given up on Zou, who is the most famous boxer in China, the world's most populous nation. For Zou's return bout, Arum has taken the bout out of the gambling mecca of Macau and is testing the waters in the bustling Chinese capital of Shangai.
They are taking little chances with Zou's opposition, as Brazil's Natan Santana Coutinho (12-0) has been selected. This is Coutinho's first appearance outside of Brazil and very little can be said about him other than he does have ten KOs in his 12 wins and he is going to be 13 years younger than Zou at 21.
Zou is 34 years old, and his professional career has always been on a fast-track. Arum would like to use Zou's success as a conduit to the vast Chinese market. The loss in Zou's first world title fight last March was a big setback.
Zou did use the downtime recovering from injury to star on a television show called “Baba, Qu Nali?” which translates roughly as “Dad, Where we going?”. As a celebrity, Zou was one of five fathers who were chosen to travel the country with their sons with cameras along and Zou's relationship with his 4 year old boy is reported to be the one that most captivated a vast audience of nearly 100 million viewers.
Considering that in March of 2016 Zou will be turning 35 years old he returns under a lot of pressure and with the expectations of an entire country upon him.