Macau To Host High-Profile Boxing Event Featuring Pacquiao, Zou In November
Macau is "looking to add to its allure by holding the kind of boxing bouts that Las Vegas is known for," according to Kelvin Chan of the AP. Macau is "hosting a series of high-profile bouts this year featuring a pair of Asian stars" in two-time Gold Medal-winning Chinese boxer Zou Shiming and Manny Pacquiao. Zou "made his professional debut in April" and his rise has "helped boost boxing's popularity among fans in China, where the sport was banned until the mid-1980s." Now "all eyes are on the 'Clash in Cotai' in November, featuring Pacquiao for the main event and Zou on the undercard." Event organizers said that it will be "the biggest professional boxing match ever held in China." It also will be "the first outside of the U.S. since" '06 for Pacquiao. For promoter Top Rank, the fight is a "chance to get a head start on bringing the sport to the huge, untapped market in China." Boxing is "nowhere near as popular in China as soccer or basketball," but Top Rank Chair Bob Arum "sees a vast potential market of new fans." Zou is "key to his plan." Arum said that he "envisions Top Rank, which organizes 60 boxing shows a year, eventually holding four to six a year in Macau." Las Vegas by comparison is "hosting a dozen pro bouts this year" (AP, 7/29).