Zou confident of ‘dream’ world title

Source:AFP Published: 2015-3-6 23:23:01

Still improvement to come for 33-year-old, says trainer Roach

Zou Shiming in training Photo: CFP

China's Zou Shiming declared Friday that he would achieve his "dream" of becoming world champion against Amnat Ruenroeng, predicting that the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight bout in Macao would be a "great show."

Both fighters made the 112-lb (50.8-­kilogram) ­flyweight limit with no drama and ­promised an explosive 12-round contest between the two undefeated men at Cotai Arena on ­Saturday night.

"My body's in good shape," said challenger Zou after tipping the scales at 111.6 lb. "So I hope I will perform well and I'm hoping Amnat will also so we put on a great show for all the fans."

Zou confidently predicted that he would add a professional world title to his three amateur global crowns and two Olympic gold medals.

"This is my dream. It also the dream of all the boxers in China and tomorrow I will realize this dream and become world champion," said the man from southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Amnat, who weighed in exactly on the 112-lb flyweight limit, agreed that the contest could turn into a classic.

"We will put on the best fight," he said.

But he vowed there was no way he was going to relinquish his crown, especially as his family had travelled from Thailand to see his third world title defense.

"I would like to confirm that I will bring the IBF belt back to Thailand because my family come here to support me," he said.

Amnat won once and lost twice to Zou in their amateur days and said that he would even up the lifetime record, despite being on Chinese soil.

"I feel OK about the fight even though it is in Macao, in China," Amnat said. "I went to fight in the Olympic Games in Beijing so I'm used to it. And the people here have been very good to me."

One of the men will lose their unbeaten record on Saturday and Zou is the more inexperienced with only six professional fights and one knockout since his debut in the same Cotai Arena ring in April 2013.

His Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said that his transformation from top amateur to world professional title contender has been rapid but there was still improvement to come for the 33-year-old.

"He's punching a lot better and he's developed more power," Roach said.

"But I want him more defensive. I think he gave up too much for going on the offensive and he's gotten hit a little bit too much in previous fights.

"So we've been working on putting both those aspects together for this fight. 

"He won't sit in the pocket too long anymore and let the other guy fire back at him. This fight will be: score, get out."

Amnat has 14 professional wins on his unblemished record with five knockouts and has already defended the IBF flyweight belt twice.

Posted in: Boxing

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