China's two-time Olympic champ Zou turns pro

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 24 2013 06:49 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2013 02:49 AM

LOS ANGELES - Two-time Olympic champion and three-time world amateur champion Zou Shiming is becoming a professional boxer, with US promoter Bob Arum announcing on Wednesday that he has signed the Chinese star.

"Zou is an incredible talent who is beloved in China," Arum said. "We will make every effort to make certain that he has a spectacular career as a professional."

The 31-year-old fighter won Olympic light flyweight gold at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics after taking a bronze in Athens in 2004. He won world amateur crowns in 2005, 2007 and 2011.

Zou became China's first Olympic boxing medalist, first world amateur boxing champion and first Olympic boxing champion. Now he could step into the pro ranks and produce a landmark crown for China as well.

Zou, whose boxing hero is Muhammad Ali and martial arts idol is Jackie Chan, is set to make his pro debut April 6 on the Asian resort island Macau.

Reigning world champions in the light flyweight (108-pound/49kg) division include Filipino standout John Riel Casimero, 17-2 with 10 knockouts; Mexico's Adrian Hernandez, 26-2 with one drawn and 16 knockouts; and Nicaragua's Roman Gonzalez, 34-0 with 28 knockouts.

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