Top Rank Hit Shangai – Saturday, March 5th sees Bob Arum and Top Rank return to Shangai’s Mercedes Benz Arena for a ten fight boxing card that is geared towards fighter development. Eight of the bouts are scheduled for four rounds, and there are two bouts that are six rounds.
Top Rank has been working in China for years, operating in Macau. Arum has twice delivered Manny Pacquiao to the Chinese market, in 2013 when he fought Brandon Rios and in 2014 when Pac-man faced Chris Algieri.
On January 30th of this year Arum showed his commitment to opening and dominating the Chinese boxing market when he promoted the first show outside of Macau, at the Shangai Oriental Sports Stadium. That card was headlined by Zou Shiming, a 34 year old Flyweight who is a Chinese national icon after winning gold medals in two Olympics. Shiming is 7-1 as a professional, with all his fights under the Top Rank flag. In March of 2015, Arum’s attempt to fast-track Zou to a world title back-fired when he lost an IBF world title fight to undefeated Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0). Shiming’s fight in January was his “comeback” after the loss and an ensuing nine month layoff during which he participated in a reality TV show with his 4 year old son.
Beyond Zou Shiming, however, Arum does not have a lot of star power on his Chinese-based roster. The January 30th event saw Top Rank promoting twenty-eight fights, with all but two of the matches being 4 and 6 rounders.
This weekend’s show is more of the same, as twelve of the twenty fighters scheduled at this time are making their professional boxing debuts.
Top Rank has no mention of the show on their website schedule, or anywhere on the website for that matter, so they are keeping the show low-key. Arum, who is in his 80’s, is one of the most prolific promoters out there. If you checked the calendar and thought Arum may have taken a week off you will be happy to know that Arum and Top Rank are sinking their claws into potentially the biggest sports market in the world.
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