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China could be the next big thing for boxing
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09:34, November 13, 2008

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CHENGDU: China is the next huge market for professional boxing, four of the most astute brains in fight promotion agreed last Friday.

The country's potential as an awakening pugilistic giant dawned at the summer Olympics in August when two of their amateur fighters won gold.

That Eastern promise has electrified the flamboyant and loquacious Don King, who is promoting a professional boxing show in Chengdu as the grand finale to the World Boxing Council's annual convention.

"China has 1.3 billion people, so content is king," quipped the American promoter.

"China has given me the greatest reception of any country I've ever been to in my life. It won Olympic medals in categories it had never done before.

"This shows dedication and commitment, so hopefully I can be as good as they are. Anything can happen, now China is opening its doors to the world."

King's optimism was echoed by fellow promoter Dino Duva.

"Professional boxing can become huge in China. If it keeps progressing following the Olympic success there can be professional boxing superstars," he said. "Pay per view isn't at a mature stage yet in China. They're still trying to work it out and get it going, but the possibilities are unbelievable."

China's first professional boxing promoter Lin Gang is eager to grow the sport in his homeland.

A former boxer who represented his country at the Sydney Olympics and then fought professionally, based in Australia, he is working towards realizing his sporting dream.

"China has very good potential for professional boxing. It's very new here - only four years old, but I've put on 45 promotions," he told media.

British promoter Frank Maloney was impressed by what he saw in China.

"If they do want professional boxing to work, they've certainly got a massive market, and all of us promoters will be trying to gatecrash in, because it'll be a market that we'll all be looking at."

Source: China Daily/Agencies

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