“Both Teams Are Still Working On It”: Willing to Fight Zhilei Zhang, Joseph Parker Provides Update on Negotiations With “Big Bang” for Potential Fight

Published 01/07/2024, 4:50 PM EST

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Former WBO champion Joseph Parker recently hinted at a nearing fight with Zhilei Zhang. Their negotiation dance, as intricate as the sport itself, is still underway. Parker’s revelation came during an enigmatic interview with Boxing News. While specifics remain shrouded, the matchup promises fireworks.

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Zhang, known as the ‘Big Bang,’ poses a formidable challenge. Parker, fresh from toppling Deontay Wilder, eyes another upset. Amidst rigorous training, Parker’s offhand comment about “drinking coconuts and eating mangoes” adds an unexpected twist.

Parker navigates towards a clash with Zhilei Zhang

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Joseph Parker’s recent triumph over Deontay Wilder has catapulted him back into the spotlight of the heavyweight boxing world. Following this impressive win, Parker’s focus has shifted to Zhilei Zhang. In the revealing interview, Parker discussed the ongoing negotiations for a potential bout. He stated, “I feel like he could be [towards the top of the pecking order]. I mean, the fight with Zhang before I signed the fight with Wilder, Zhang and I was already locked in to have a fight. I already agreed terms. So I don’t think it’s a hard fight to make, but at the moment I haven’t heard anything back.”

Parker further elaborated on the current status of their negotiations, emphasizing a sense of anticipation. “I think both teams are still working on it, behind the scenes,” he revealed. This comment not only reflects the complexities of organizing high-caliber boxing matches but also Parker’s readiness to take on new challenges. Despite the uncertainty, he remains upbeat and focused, as reflected in his light-hearted remark, “I’ve just been busy drinking coconuts and eating mangoes. So hopefully I can hear something soon.”

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This approach, combining a relaxed demeanor with a clear readiness to step back into the ring, underscores Parker’s confidence. His willingness to face Zhang, hot on the heels of his victory over Wilder, speaks volumes about his ambition and determination in the heavyweight boxing arena.

Let’s see what Zhang has to say about the match.

Setting sights on Joseph Parker after bouncing back from defeat

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Zhang returned with renewed focus after his loss to Filip Hrgović in August 2022. Now he is targeting high-caliber opponents rather than settling for lesser-known fighters. His impressive victories over Joe Joyce, once viewed merely as a stepping stone, have propelled him into a significant position within the heavyweight hierarchy. At 40, Zhang’s ambitions remain high.

He candidly expressed his interest in top-tier opponents like Tyson Fury, Usyk, Joshua, and Hrgovic. However, with these fighters engaged elsewhere, Zhang’s attention has shifted to Joseph Parker. “Parker might be a good option,” Zhang admitted to BoxingScene.com. “Right now, he’s hot. If I can’t get any of those guys then Joseph Parker would be a good option,” stated Zhang. This statement underlines Zhang’s strategic approach to navigating the competitive heavyweight landscape.

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As we eagerly await official confirmation, one can’t help but ponder: Who will emerge victorious in this clash of heavyweight titans?

Watch this story: Zhilei Zhang Intense Training Routine for Joe Joyce Rematch

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Written by:

Mrinal Mishra

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"Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring," said Sugar Ray Leonard. Growing up engrossed in sports, it was the compelling narrative of the Mike Tyson documentary that first pulled me into the magnetic world of boxing.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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