Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Zou Shiming’s career likely over after suffering vision loss in left eye


Zou Shiming, a Chinese Olympic star and former WBO flyweight titleholder, is grappling with the possibility that he may never fight again after injuries to his eyes.

Zou last fought this past July, suffering a shock 11th-round technical-knockout loss to unheralded Japanese challenger Sho Kimura (currently rated No. 5 at 112 pounds) in Shanghai, China. The loss cost him his title, but a sudden loss of vision in his left eye during a flight in December may have cost him his career. 

Zou, 36, was admitted to the hospital with injuries to both eyes, including orbital fractures, according to state Xinhua news agency. A member of Zou’s team told Agence France-Presse that Zou is out of the hospital and did not undergo surgery, and that they are awaiting further instructions on his treatment.

“He just got out of hospital and is staying at home to recover. The (left) eye has recovered a bit but still could not be called healthy,” a team member was quoted by AFP.

South China Morning Post reports that Zou had had issues with his left eye dating back to his amateur days, saying that the fighter complained of double vision in his left eye during his run towards his second straight gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Zou (9-2, 2 knockouts) turned pro in 2013 under Top Rank to great fanfare, bolstering the Las Vegas-based promotion’s pivot to Macau’s casino scene. With trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, he won his first six fights but fell short in his first title opportunity, dropping a unanimous decision to his old amateur rival Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF flyweight belt. After two victories in 2016, Zou closed the year in Las Vegas, defeating Thailand’s Prasitsak Phaprom, a fighter he’d previously outpointed, to pick up the vacant WBO title.

For his first and only title defense, Zou parted ways with Top Rank and Roach, choosing to promote his own fight and run his own camp.

Zou addressed his fans on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, forwarding an update from his team on his health with the message “I’m still me.”

  • Bar Kokhba

    Sorry, but this report is confusing. The article states that Shiming suffered ‘a sudden loss of vision in his left eye during a flight in December’, then begins the next paragraph stating that he ‘was admitted to the hospital with injuries to both eyes, including orbital fractures’.

    Now either that was a particularly violent flight, or he suffered the fractures as a result of a fight. Since the following paragraph asserts that Shiming ‘is’ out of the hospital (present tense), I’m led to believe that his orbital fractures were recent, and not a result of his last fight (which was six months ago).

    So what gives? Where did the fractures come from? (Or is this just a poorly edited article, and the references to injuries are actually describing those suffered during the Kimura loss?)

    • Wade Wilson

      That was a typo unless there was some amazing turbulence and he didn’t fasten his seat belt! I know, that threw me at first too. He very well could have had a long hospital stay but it isn’t clear. Something could have gotten lost in translation or the AFP may have gotten an old release just now from the Chinese media.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        Not necessarily, there are injuries and health conditions which can be worsened by airplane flight – I can’t remember any specific ones off the top of my head but that is presumably why certain people are medically directed to not fly (usually temporary) – probably whatever it is which causes some people’s ears to pop or noses to bleed can also complicate healing of traumatized tissues & organs in specific cases. The airplane flight certainly isn’t the root cause, just worsenedan injury that probably never healed fully.

        • Wade Wilson

          I could see the change in pressure aggravating the soft tissue but that was multiple breaks. I think that the reporting just isn’t as clear as we’d like but it gets the point across. One way or another it’s safe to say his career is over.

        • Bar Kokhba

          Absolutely true, given that it seems the detached retina was at least in part brought on by the flight itself. But a broken orbital bone? Didn’t make sense to me. I think Wade Wilson is right about some sort of glitch in translation. (I was also unaware that Shiming suffered such a beating in that loss.)


        Those people. They no speak the English!

      • Bar Kokhba

        Excellent deductive reasoning – a very plausible explanation; I think you’re probably right.

  • ozzy

    What an awful way to end a boxing career – I hope his sight isn’t as bad as the article seems to suggest &/or maybe it can be improved over time. Good luck Zou.

  • Joey Junger

    I saw him a few times and enjoyed his showboating swagger, but thirty-six is pretty old for such a small fighter. I wish him all the best, but it sounds like he spent too much time marinating in the amateurs and it was a fait accompli that his pro run was nearing its conclusion, anyway.