WBO heavyweight interim champion Zhilei Zhang is eyeing a showdown with Anthony Joshua.
Zhang shifted his focus to Joshua after the British boxer's impressive victory over Otto Wallin. Joshua, who has secured three consecutive wins since his defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, showcased his rejuvenated form under new trainer Ben Davidson by stopping Wallin in five rounds. While Joshua is rumored to face Filip Hrgovic in a potential IBF title eliminator, Zhang has expressed his interest in entering the mix for a bout with the former champion.
“I’d like to go after Joshua because he’s probably looking at [Filip] Hrgovic as a potential fight. But if you look at Hrgovic’s resume. He was gifted a win. He beat me to become the [IBF heavyweight] mandatory challenger. When you look at Joshua’s potential fight with Hrgovic, I just don’t think it makes that much commercial sense because if he [Joshua] comes to me, the whole of England will be watching, and the whole of China will be watching, and the whole Middle East. Everybody will be watching,” Zhang said
Zhilei Zhang has been on a remarkable winning streak, securing consecutive victories over Joe Joyce. Despite being 40 years old, Zhang has experienced a resurgence in his career. Since the WBO mandatory call is not anticipated anytime soon, Zhang is facing inactivity. If a bout with Anthony Joshua doesn't materialize, he's eyeing a matchup with Joseph Parker. The former WBO heavyweight champion is coming off a significant win against Deontay Wilder, making a potential clash with Zhang in Saudi Arabia an intriguing possibility.
“Parker might be a good option. Right now, he’s hot, and everybody is looking at him like, ‘Wow, he’s really good,’ and he’s won a couple of fights recently. So, if I can’t get any of these guys, Joseph Parker would be a good option. You never know. Styles make fights. I beat Parker in the 2011 world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, and that was a while ago. If he wants revenge, go ahead, come,” Zhang
Social Media Reactions:
Joshua is Faster, for sure. But if Zhang can work on his body & conditioning, he does have the power to upset him. Just needs to be sure he's in good shape & doesn't gas out after 3rds.— Nick (@Mxtreme11) December 26, 2023
Joshua vs Zhang in Beijing.— David Cole 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦🥊🥊🥊🥊 (@DavidJ_Cole) December 25, 2023