• The former Olympic champion is rapidly attaining superstar status after gaining six consecutive wins.

The former Olympic champion is rapidly attaining superstar status after gaining six consecutive wins. (Photo : Reuters)

Two-time Olympic boxing medalist Zou Shiming has vowed to put China in the world boxing stage by winning his first professional world title in Macau next month.

"I swore to fulfil my dreams to become a professional fighter, to achieve world titles and to bring China into the worldwide boxing family," Zou said in an interview with the AFP in Los Angeles.

Like Us on Facebook

Zou, who won the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and a three-time world champion in the amateur circuit, is scheduled to fight the undefeated Thai Amnat Ruenroeng for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title at the Venetian Macau casino in March. He is currently training at legendary trainer Freddie Roach's Wildcard gym in Hollywood, California.

The 33-year-old boxer also denied that the intense support from his country, where up to 300 million Chinese are expected to watch his fight for the IBF belt, is putting pressure on him.

"The pressure doesn't come from my home country, but comes from myself and that made me enter the pro ring in my thirties," said Zou, who hails from Guizhou Province in southwestern China.

Veteran promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum called Zou as "the poster boy" for the rise of professional boxing in China, where it was banned under Mao Zedong due to being too Western and too violent.

"Zou is the engine behind all of this activity in China," said Arum.

Zou's last fight in November, where he was in second billing to the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri fight, saw him go through 12 rounds for the first time and clinch a dominating win against another seasoned Thai boxer, Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym.

Zou (6-0, 1 KO) is expecting a tougher fight against Amnat (14-0, 5 KOs), who is defending his flyweight title for the third time.

The two previously fought three times in their amateur careers, with Zou winning in the last two.

"He is as determined as me to win this fight," said Zou. "He is a tough fighter, and the professional experience should give him a bit of an advantage."

Zou added: "I have fought Amnat three times and I am familiar with his fighting style. However, he turned professional years earlier than me. This should bring me new challenges."

The boxer also said that eventually dreams of making it big in the U.S. and getting a title fight in Las Vegas will come to him.

"At the moment I only focused on March 7. I am not going to hang up my gloves no matter what result. I will try hard to make different kinds of breakthroughs. Let's say fighting in Las Vegas is one of them."