Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker are set to clash for the interim WBO title on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's highly-anticipated showdown with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.
While a bout between Zhang and Deontay Wilder was initially in talks, the Chinese heavyweight contender will now face Parker in Riyadh on Friday, March 8.
New Zealander Joseph Parker made a strong comeback into the heavyweight title picture with a decisive unanimous decision victory over Wilder at the Kingdom Arena in December. Former WBO heavyweight champion Parker is now set to face interim title-holder Zhang. Zhang, with a 26-1-1 (21) record since turning pro in 2014, secured the interim WBO title by defeating Joe Joyce. The full version of the title is currently held by Oleksandr Usyk.
Zhang, 40, is coming off impressive back-to-back stoppage wins over Joyce. Meanwhile, Parker, 31, redeemed himself after a setback in September 2022, winning all four of his fights in 2023. His record now stands at 34-3 (23). Parker's promoter, David Higgins, believes these victories have silenced the critics who doubted him after the 11th-round KO loss to Joyce in September 2022.