Olympic gold medalists don't lose pro debuts, and two-time podium topper Zou Shiming of China delivered in his first bout without headgear, beating Mexico's Eleazar Valenzuela with ease, 40-36 on all three cards in the main event today from Macau.
A great, six-hour show was capped off by a perfectly entertaining debut for Zou, who didn't really stand out as particularly more impressive than his skeptics were expecting. Personally, I am one of those skeptics -- he is a very good, very talented fighter, no doubt about that. He was a terrific amateur. But at 31, without much power, with leaky defense and a trainer (Freddie Roach) whose worst attribute is teaching defense, and a lot of hype, there are three potential roads for Zou, as I see it:
- He meets the hype, moves fast, wins a world title in 2014. This could happen, especially if he were able to pick off some fluke paper champion.
- He is milked for all the money Top Rank can get out of him, fighting in China for big returns against no-hope opponents for a few years.
- He gets that world title shot next year, but he fails when he steps up against the real top pro fighters.
I don't know what's most likely, but my gut feeling is that No. 1 is the least likely of the options.
Were you impressed with Zou today? How far do you think he'll go as a pro?
Full Results From Macau
Juan Francisco Estrada SD-12 Brian Viloria
Rocky Martinez SD-12 Diego Magdaleno
Yasutaka Ishimoto MD-10 Wilfredo Vazquez Jr
Early undercard: Wins for Milan Melindo, Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr, Paul Fleming, and Dave Penalosa