An Exciting Card Featuring the Return of Zou Shiming Plus Two World Championship Bouts
Tim Ryan, Larry Merchant and George Foreman Reunite to Call the Action from Ringside
Saturday, July 27 at 5:30 P.M. ET/PT on HBO2®
MACAU (July 24, 2013) – The exciting, multi-bout event at The Venetian® Macao’s CotaiArena™ features two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time Amateur World Champion Zou Shiming returning to the ring in a flyweight matchup against Mexico’s Jesus Ortega this Saturday, July 27. The spectacular fight card also features two world championship title fights – WBO/WBA flyweight champion Juan Estrada vs. Milan Melindo and IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich vs. Mauricio Muñoz. Watching all the action from ringside will be Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, and former world lightweight champion Brandon Rios.
Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with Tecate, Fists of Gold II is the latest world-class sports spectacular from Sands China. The integrated resort developer’s multi-tiered entertainment strategy is aimed at diversifying Macao’s tourism economy through the varied offerings of its Cotai Strip Resorts, contributing to the city’s development into one of Asia’s top entertainment hubs and a world centre of tourism and leisure. April’s Fists of Gold event was a sold-out crowd pleaser, and was televised internationally to more than 30 countries, including to the U.S. via HBO2 and in China on CCTV5.
Fists of Gold II will once again reunite broadcasting icons Tim Ryan, Larry Merchant and former two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman. HBO2 will televise three fights on the Fists of Gold II card with same day coverage in the U.S. on Saturday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. Headlining the telecast will be Zou Shiming vs. Jesus Ortega plus two 12-round title fights: Juan Estrada vs. Milan Melindo and Evgeny Gradovich vs. Mauricio Munoz.
Other HBO2 Playdates: Sunday, July 28 (4:15 p.m.), Tuesday, July 30 (11:00 p.m.)
All times are ET/PT.
Zou (1-0), from Guizhou, and trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, won his professional debut April 6, via a dominant four-round unanimous decision over gritty Eleazar Valenzuela of México. One of the most popular Olympic athletes in China, Zou was his nation's first Olympic medallist in boxing as well as its first boxing gold medallist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics. He signed with Arum’s Top Rank at a press conference in Beijing in January.
Moving up to the flyweight division, Zou will be graduating to a six-round bout when he faces Jesus Ortega (3-1, 2 KOs) from Hermosillo, México. A stablemate of world flyweight champion Juan Estrada, the hard-hitting Ortega is an exciting prospect who enters this fight on a roll, having won his last two fights – his most recent a third-round knockout victory against Arcadio Sanchez April 19.
In addition to Zou's return, the event line-up includes an undercard highlighted by two 12-round world championship fights. WBO/WBA flyweight champion Juan Estrada (23-2, 17 KOs), of Hermosillo, México, will make the first defence of the titles he won from Brian Viloria April 6 at Fists of Gold. Estrada faces the undefeated Milan Melindo (28-0, 11 KOs), of Manadue, Philippines. Melindo, the number one contender and mandatory challenger, earned his shot at the title by knocking out once-beaten Tommy Seran in the fourth round on the April 6 card in Macao. Undefeated IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (16-0, 8 KOs), a native of Russia, now fighting from Oxnard, Calif., makes his first title defence against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Mauricio Muñoz (26-3, 12 KOs), of San Juan, Argentina. Gradovich captured the world title March 1 when he dethroned defending champion Billy Dib via a split decision. Muñoz earned his title shot by defeating previously unbeaten contender Luis Franco in his last fight, October 13, 2012.