By Karl Freitag
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank –
The final press conference for Saturday’s big world championship twinbill in Macao, China, took place Thursday in Macao, China. WBA/WBO flyweight champion Brian “hawaiian Punch” Viloria defends his unified titles against Juan Francisco Estrada in one of two world title bouts.
Estrada stated that he is ready and happy to be fighting in his true weight class. “They are already telling Viloria that he’s going to get the opportunity to fight Shiming and they are saying the next fight of Shiming is probably Viloria. I think the next fight for Shiming can be Estrada,” said the challenger.
Viloria responded, “I’m taking everything that Estrada is saying and I’m going to have to beg to differ. I trained really hard for this fight. I came a long way from fighting in a parking lot. A couple of years ago eveyone said I was done after my third loss, but after putting together all these wins against these great, tough Mexican fighters, thank God I stuck to the sport.”
Promoter Bob Arum stated, “Zou Shinming is in this weight category. These are the kind of fighters he’ll be fighting as he progresses up the ranks towards a world championship.”
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Things heated up a bit during the comments of two-time WBO jr lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez and undefeated #1 contender Diego Magdaleno.
“That title is mine,” proclaimed Magdaleno. “It’s got my name written all over it. I’ve had my eye on it for awhile and now I have to go out there and get it…we’re bringing that title back home.”
Martinez returned fire. “If I came from Puerto Rico, which is a far place from here, it’s because I’m going to retain my title, so I just want to tell Diego don’t dream anymore about this title because it belongs to me and I’m going to bring it back to my country.”
As Martinez returned to his seat, Magdaleno informed him “Your dream is over!”
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In the main event, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time world amateur champion Zou Shiming makes his pro debut against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO) in a four-round flyweight bout.
Promoter Bob Arum said, “People say ‘how can you have a main event only a four round fight?’ Well, you can if you have a participant in the main event like Zou Shiming with his incredible, incredible amateur record now turning professional. But you have to realize what the opponent is thinking. The opponent knows, to be honest, that he’s relatively obscure. But he’s in the ring and when that bell sounds for four rounds or however long the fight is, he can make his mark. He can change the lifestyle of his family. He can change his whole history if he wins, or even if he doesn’t but performs at a top level. So to a great extent, Saturday night will be a tremendous opportunity for Eleazar Valenzuela.”
The card will be televised in the USA on HBO2 at 2PM ET/11AM PT with broadcasting icons Tim Ryan, Larry Merchant and two-time heavyweight champion Big George Foreman working the telecast.