Flyweight Zou Shiming will be making his ring return on a Jan. 30th card in Shanghai, roughly 10 months after he tore his rotator cuff in his first loss to Amnat Ruenroeng last March. Zou (6-1, 1 KO) has had all seven of his professional fights held in Macau, but Bob Arum is taking him to mainland China due to a significant drop in Macau's gaming revenue. Despite the detour, Arum says he'll be planning more fights in Macau in the near future.
"The Macau shows will be back next year," he said. "We're negotiating with a couple of properties but they're having a really tough time in Macau with the fall off of gaming revenue."
Arum would like to get Zou through this January fight, in order to test out his shoulder, and then get Zou in line for another title shot.
"He'll get back on the horse and then move to another title fight," Arum said. "But he has to get by this fight first."
This first fight will be against TBA, so in all likelihood that should prove too difficult, so long as Zou's shoulder holds up. One thing I would be worried about, if I was Arum, is that he believes Zou has made boxing a bit of a secondary priority to being a celebrity in China. This is obviously not a sport you want to participate in if you're not fully committed.
"He's monetized boxing. He's making a fortune on reality television shows in China," Arum said. "He's so big there but he wants to fight. It will keep up the enthusiasm for him, but boxing has become sort of a second career."
We may not get any answers against TBA, but we'll see soon enough if Zou still has his head in the game...