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Boxing: China’s golden boy ponders next steps after tough defeat

Zou Shiming was outclassed in his first defeat as a pro, despite having Freddie Roach in his corner. Photos: Top Rank.

Zou Shiming was outclassed in his first defeat as a pro, despite having Freddie Roach in his corner. Photos: Top Rank.

March 8, 2015: Zou Shiming put up a polite but stern defence of his own performance after losing a unanimous decision to IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng in their IBF world flyweight bout at The Venetian Macao on Saturday night.

 

For fight report, visit: sport-asia.com/boxing-amnat-dashes-zous-title-dreams-in-macau-retains-ibf-belt/

 

Zou, 33, was the star attraction at ‘The Showdown at Sands’ and had the support of the vast majority of the crowd within the Cotai Arena, where he had fought and won all six of his previous bouts on cards organised by Top Rank.

 

For two years, Zou had followed a well orchestrated pathway to a world title, but this title shot appeared a step too far – or too early – against a smarter, faster and more confident opponent.

 

“The other guy had more experience dealing with this type of title fight, so I will just learn from this experience. I don’t think I was outboxed,” said Zou, who was also asked if he was aggressive enough in the 12-round fight.

 

“I believed I was the more aggressive one. I didn’t think my opponent was very aggressive. I felt that he kept moving. If he threw more punches, I believe my punches were more effective.”

 

Despite having Freddie Roach in his corner, with the American taking a break from training Manny Pacquiao, Zou became increasingly one-dimensional as the fight wore on and was unable to get close to Amnat, who made the most of his five-inch reach advantage.

 

Still, Zou didn’t believe he was as outclassed as suggested by the three judges, who all scored the fight 116-111.

 

“I don’t want to comment on the result – at the end of the day, the judges call it – but throughout the whole fight, we felt we were pretty effective,” said Zou, who fought his first pro fight in April 2013 having won his second straight Olympic gold the previous year.

 

“I was doing the things that the corner was telling me and doing them well. I knocked down the other guy once, so we thought we were very effective.”

 

Zou also cut a thoughtful figure, repeatedly using the words “life” and “experience” as he assessed his first pro loss and the next steps in his career.

 

China’s best-known boxer said that the defeat was simply a bump in the road and that he would be back fighting for another title soon.

 

“Boxing is just like life. This is the beginning of a new journey. I will keep going for another shot,” said Zou, who was asked how he felt about not being able to take the belt back to his son.

 

“This is a part of life, so the best thing I can teach my son is by showing him an example, by going through the life experience. Win or lose, I just have to go at it again. It’s part of life, part of experience.”

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