Flyweight star Zou Shiming, the three-time Chinese Olympic medalist -- including gold medals in 2012 and 2008 -- and the reason big-time boxing exists in China, is preparing for his next fight after recovering from a serious shoulder injury.
Zou suffered a torn rotator cuff during his March 7 unanimous decision loss challenging flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand in Macau, China, and had subsequent surgery.
The rest of 2015 was lost, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Monday that Zou will return Jan. 30 to headline a card in Shanghai against an opponent to be determined.
Zou (6-1, 1 KO), 34, has fought all seven of his pro bouts at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao in Macau, but is moving to mainland China for the upcoming fight because of the dramatic fall recently in Macau’s gaming revenue.
However, Arum said Top Rank would continue to do some shows in Macau next year with others on the mainland.
“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.”
As for Zou, Arum said the plan is for him to fight in January to test the shoulder and shake off the rust and then look for another world 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.”
Arum said Zou is doing very well outside of the ring and that he doesn’t need boxing to make a living, although he still wants to fight.
“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.”