Eye disease puts Zou's career in jeopardy

Zou Shiming's career is at risk due to a left-eye disease, adding to the boxer's woes amid his ongoing dispute with former agent company SECA.

Two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming’s boxing career has been put into jeopardy following a doctor’s report that his chances of fully recovering from a left-eye disease are slim.

According to a report released by Shanghai Changzheng Hospital on Tuesday, Zou suffered multiple fractures in the orbit of both eyes. Slight cataracts and vitreous opacitees were also diagnosed. Currently Zou suffers from poor eyesight in his left eye, and the report suggested a sequel instead of a full recovery.

More tests are needed before doctors can decide on further treatment measures, including possible surgery.

Zou injured his left eye in a fight against Thailand’s Prasitsak Phaprom in 2014. A serious relapse was reported last week when he was seen being helped by his wife at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport.


Zou Shiming is led by his wife Ran Yingying as they arrive at Hongqiao International Airport on December 21.

The 36-year-old Guizhou Province native’s last fight was on July 28 when Zou lost to the relatively unknown Japanese boxer Sho Kimura at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. The WBO flyweight title defense was Zou’s first professional bout organized by his own company Zouxuan Sports, which is managed by his wife Ran Yingying.

The eyes woes add to the problems faced by China’s best known boxer, who has also been involved in a dispute with his former agent company SECA.

An online report on Monday said that Zou’s wife had told a friend that SECA was in arrears of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.53 million) over Zou’s income. Ran said that SECA also forced Zou to take up fights despite knowledge of his injury, the report added.

SECA released a statement later on Monday, denying the claims and said the company was taking legal measures to protect its rights.

Zou turned professional at the age of 32 after winning two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Partnering with SECA, Zou signed a contract with United States boxing promoter Top Rank, and was subsequently trained by Freddie Roach, Filipino great Manny Pacquiao’s coach.

Top Rank was also keen on the Chinese market, having noticed Zou’s reputation and recognition in China. But things didn't quite pan out as hoped for with the boxer apparently finding it difficult to adapt his style to the professional ranks.

Zou and SECA were reported to be at loggerheads earlier this year before Zou started promoting his own company Zouxuan Sports which organized the July fight. The agent contract details between Zou and SECA have not been unveiled by either parties.

Special Reports