| Don’t Believe The Hype: HBO’s Latest Illusion
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (April 8, 2013) Doghouse Boxing (Chris Farina / Top Rank)
no secret that since Golden Boy Promotions parted ways with HBO that
the network has been scrambling everywhere for their next big thing.
Enter 32 year old flyweight Chinese Olympian Zou Shiming (1-0), who
has been training under the tutelage of Freddie Roach at Wild Card
Gym recently. With Shiming’s raw and unmemorable latest decision
win in his televised professional debut over Eleazar Valenzuela
(2-2-2, 1 KO), HBO would have you believe that Shiming is the next
breakout star destined for huge things. Roach told the press that Zou
will be ready for a Championship within a year’s time. Sounds far
fetched? Of course it does, because it is.
network had the audacity to not only broadcast Shiming’s 4 round
professional debut (that’s right, a four rounder as the main
event), but tried to sell Shiming’s debut and appearance as the
greatest thing since sliced bread this side of the Atlantic. Nice
try. There are scores of up-and-coming fighters who not only deserve
far more press, but also the opportunity at a $300,000 payday (or was
it $500,000?) to fight a 4 round exhibition match on a major network.
Sure, blame it on their handlers and their management as to why they
can’t get fights or exposure. Maybe they should contact Bob Arum?
Seems to work for some anyway.
4 round debacle is an attempt by HBO to sell you on their next big
“star”. This doesn’t take away from Shiming’s amateur and
Olympic background of course, yet realistically a 32 year old
flyweight with a successful amateur and Olympic background or not
(who can place a few solid punches here or there but is still far too
raw for the professional ranks yet) just doesn’t cut it, whether he
has a nation behind him or not. This is boxing, not politics. Someone
needs to remind not only HBO but also Bob Arum of this fact. Give
some hungrier, more talented and eager fighters a shot to show you
what they can do. Boxers who have used a light bag before in their
careers and know what it takes, instead of offering up the public
more smoke and mirrors and a fighter who reveals unknowingly that he
is nothing more than a sideshow act of depravity.
its associates know that hype along with novelty sells. They have
tried in the past to sell the public on different fighters
unsuccessfully, especially when those same fighters have imploded on
a grand stage for all the public to witness firsthand. You can print
all the posters you want, push all the propaganda inspired press
releases and showcase relatively unknown and potential cash cows to a
fickle boxing public and eventually you will get exposed one way or
another, either by that very same public or by a beautifully timed
thunderous punch in the ring by an opponent. Either way the hype
tends to fade with purveyors of boxing.
we hold HBO network and more specifically Bob Arum accountable? Yes,
we should. Because its fights like these that do not belong on
television. They leave a sour taste in fans mouths and offer nothing
up more than speculation and disgust. That’s right, disgust.
Disgust because some deal was made at a table where someone decided
that it was alright to push such an exhibition off as a main event
bout. I have personally witnessed better boxing matches at far
smaller venues where fighters with heart gave it their all and made
far less than $300,000 in the process. No one should be subjected to
such an illusion while the people pulling the strings behind the
curtains rake in the ridiculous profits.
Shiming obviously has every right to make a living and seek out his
own place in the world of professional boxing just like any other
fighter who laces up the gloves and steps into the ring. The problem
that sits is just where does he fit, and where are they going to try
and convince us that he belongs? While he appeared in good form
during his debut, at 32 and only fighting a 4 rounder in his reveal
to the world, Shiming still has several unanswered questions on the
table. And with a division that has some strong names in it, how will
he fare against some of the bigger names, especially with Roach
forecasting a Championship within a year’s time? Being a seasoned
Olympian and amateur is nothing to sneeze at, but as George Foreman
said during Shiming’s outing, “Fighting in the professionals is
different than fighting in the amateurs.” Far different.
Should you have any questions, comments, concerns, or complaints that you would like to throw at Jason please don’t hesitate to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your opinions matter.
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