Crunch time for Zou as things get real

Zou Shiming’s tomato can era has officially ended. In beating Luis de la Rosa on points last weekend, Zou moved to 5-0 (with 1 KO), and he remains on track for a world title bid later this year (though promoter Bob Arum is already talking about his first title defense). Some world champions are clearly tougher than others, but you can’t stage manage a title fight in quite the same way as you can line up a pushover opponent. In other words, shit just got real. Here is this week’s Sports Talk column:

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Weekly Wrap: Xi Jinping, Tour de France, Wimbledon, football $$

The glut of “China isn’t at the World Cup, but…” articles has slowed (there is only so much to say, after all), though these pictures of President Xi Jinping are doing the rounds (h/t @niubi), unthinkable to depict the President in cartoon form just a few years ago.

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FIFA’s Chinese own goal

The Chinese are watching the World Cup in their droves, with some staying up so late that three people have now reportedly died from World Cup-related sleep deprivation.  118 million posts about the World Cup were written between June 12-17, but FIFA, in all its infinite wisdom, has no official online presence in China. Here’s more:

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Weekly Wrap: Chinese takes on Wimbledon, sailing and golf

The Chinese are getting up in their millions to watch the World Cup, and as expected Brazilian Neymar is becoming one of the main stories (this piece on Neymar’s China’s strategy is worth another look). But other things are happening too. Here’s a selection of interesting stories from the past few days (the first two of which feature some special China Sports Insider insight!).

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Nike’s Chinese star finally holes out

This is exactly what the PGA Tour – and Nike – would have hoped for when it launched its China Series earlier this year. 27-year-old Shanxi native, who signed with Nike almost exactly a year ago alongside 19-year-old Li Haotong, finally won a tournament after a succession of near misses. He now leads the overall standings in the race to win one of five spots for next year’s US-based Web.com Tour, itself the feeder of the PGA Tour.

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