MANILA, Philippines – World flyweight champion Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria believes Chinese Olympic medalist Zou Shiming has a bright future in the professional ranks after his remarkable amateur career.
Zou won two Olympic gold medals for China, then signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank as a professional and began working with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in the Wild Card Gym.
Viloria, who also trains at Wild Card, told The Philippine Star’s Joaquin Henson in an e-mail interview that the Chinese star has a bright future as a professional.
“Zou has a very good chance of going far in the pros, if he makes the appropriate adjustments from the amateur style of boxing to the pro style,” Viloria said.
Zou will make his professional debut this Saturday against Mexican Elazar Valenzuela in the main event of Top Rank’s first fight card in Macau, while Viloria will defend his belts against another Mexican, Juan Estrada, in the same fight card.
Viloria said he has become friends with the Chinese star, whom he sparred with during the build-up to their fights.
“An interpreter is always with (Zou), and conveys his message through when we communicate,” Viloria said. “We’ve become very close because of our training sessions together, as well as the sparring. Zou is very down-to-earth and friendly.”
“We joke around a lot, and I try my best with making him feel comfortable in the US as much as possible,” he said.
According to Arum, a bout between Viloria and Zou may happen in the near future, if both fighters are successful in their upcoming bouts.