news Friday, 22 November 2013

Freddie Roach: Zou Shiming's transition to the pro game will take time

Chinese amateur star is on the right track

FREDDIE ROACH says he still has plenty of work to do with China's double Olympic gold medallist if he is to make it as a professional.

Shiming meets Mexico's 4-0 Juan Tozcano in Macau this weekend and has even sparred Manny Pacquiao in the build-up, but Roach admits the popular Chinaman must improve.

"We are still getting him to sit down on his punches a little bit more," he said. "He does have good power when he wants to use it but when he falls back into that amateur style he just wants to score points and protect the lead."

It was Shiming who volunteered to spar with the Filipino during training and Roach discussed it with his leading client first.

"You're a little bit too big for him but you can just box," said Roach. "He [Shiming] got hit with one really good shot to the body and grunted a bit but there were no knockdowns."

Shiming then started shadowboxing with Pacquiao and has begun to learn from him more in the gym.

"He's doing well," Roach added. "What I'm trying to get him to do is sit down on his punches, get in, get out, roll under. It's not coming as fast as I thought it would. I had the same problem when I first started with Brian Viloria, he had that passive defence, was scoring points, not landing hard shots, just scoring blows. It took us a while to get Brian out of that mode but he ended up being one of the best punchers in his weight classes. He just needed to learn to have the confidence to do it. And that's what is lacking a little with Shiming, he doesn't have the confidence to do it at this point because he's so used to doing what he does. He's been to three Olympics and had all of his amateur fights that way so the adjustment isn't coming as fast as I thought it would but it's coming slowly. I think we will get there."

Shiming is going to make $500,000 this weekend, for just his third fight. Roach wonders if some amateurs do lose motivation from big paydays early in their careers.

"I don't like to spoil people," he said. "Maybe they do make too much too early. My first 10-round fight was for a thousand dollars and I thought I was rich. It's possible it could be coming too easy for him but on February 22 we're fighting again in the main event and each time we fight the opponents are going to get better and better.

"I thought it [Shiming adapting to the pros] was going to happen really quickly. His first sparring partner in America was Viloria and he did so well with Brian I thought for sure he would be champion in a few months. He was doing that well. He has Brian's number for some reason. Then, in the first fight he reverted back to his amateur style too much and the second fight he thought I wanted him to be a bit more of a banger and I think our game plan got lost in translation a little bit; he stayed in the pocket too long and got hit too much. "He can score and get out with his speed but he stayed there too long. Now we're trying to work in the middle. Aggressive but not too aggressive. He's getting better but it's not going to be as fast as it was going to be."


Author : Tris Dixon


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