Top Rank keeps investing in China

On the same day that Top Rank promoted its fifth boxing card in 13 months at the Venetian Macao in Macau -- Nonito Donaire’s fifth-round technical decision to win a featherweight title against Simpiwe Vetyeka -- it also announced its latest endeavor in China on Saturday.

Top Rank, Venetian parent company Sands China Ltd. and SECA announced at a news conference that they would produce a one-hour weekly television series called “Fist Power -- Fight to Win” that will debut in July and air throughout China on regional channels in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The show will include fights from the massive Top Rank library (more than 25,000 fights in its 48-year history), including fights involving past greats such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Oscar De La Hoya as well as active fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Each episode will have prefight and postfight commentary, including a selection narrated by Top Rank chairman Bob Arum; behind-the-scenes lifestyle footage; fighter profiles; and weekly updates on two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist and pro flyweight Zou Shiming’s climb to a world title shot.

“Top Rank is delighted that together with our partners -- SECA and Sands China -- we are able to take this step to further popularise boxing in the great country of China,” Arum said in a statement. “None of this would have been possible without the role of Ed Tracy, CEO of Sands China Ltd., who sparked this venture, and the encouragement and direction of the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the legendary Sheldon Adelson.”

“Fist Power” will also air two boxing events televised live from mainland China. The cards will feature fighters from China facing international opposition. The first event is scheduled to take place in August.

“Everybody knows that winning pro boxing world tiles is my dream,” Zou said. “But I have an even bigger dream -- to promote boxing in China. The launch of this boxing television program in China is a big step towards my dream, and a major milestone in the development of pro boxing in China. I will also be very actively involved in the development of this program, including giving boxing tips and an insider’s view of the pro boxing scene.”