‘It’s Gonna Become a Reality’ – Zhilei Zhang Adamant About Fighting Anthony Joshua

Published 02/26/2021, 4:00 PM EST


Though he is scheduled to fight Jerry Forrest this week on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, ‘Big Bang’ Zhilei Zhang is looking ahead to the biggest names around. The 6’6” tall heavyweight has desired to fight ‘AJ’ several times, and he seems to have fixed his eyes on that particular bout. Furthermore, Zhang believes his home country would serve as the perfect location.

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Amid so many big names in the heavyweight division, Zhang continues to dream of a fight with his former rival. They two had battled back in the Olympics, and it’s time fans see them collide at a professional level. However, considering AJ’s popularity in Europe and Britain, promoters might hesitate to stage the fight in China.

Zhang feels it is on him to step up and change this to help the boxing world harness an enormous market.

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Speaking with Seconds Out via an interpreter, ‘Big Bang’ said, “It’s gonna become a reality because China has a huge market and in order to do that, I feel like it’s on me, I have to step up, I have to make my name, I have to match up with his (Anthony Joshua) name.”

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Boasting off 22 wins (17 KOs) with no losses, Zhang has one of the best resumes in the division. But, he is still nowhere close to the title ride. The only major belt he has earned in his pro career is the WBO Oriental heavyweight strap.

Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua, 24-1, is a 2x unified titleholder. He is currently aiming for a title unification clash against WBC champion Tyson Fury. So, it’s bizarre to picture him fighting against Zhilei Zhang for now.

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Zhilei Zhang and his rise to fame

Zhilei Zhang made his pro debut in 2014 and has been on a constant rise since then. Though he is yet to achieve glory or stardom, he is one of the most dominant forces at heavyweight and can slide into bookings against any elite heavyweight pugilist. Wins in these bouts would move him closer to a mandatory spot against Joshua.

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However, a stumbling block in his ambitions could be Joshua’s claims that he will retire after a couple more fights. Hence, as of this moment, it is hard to envision a fight between him and Zhang.

Having proven everything, ‘AJ’ might not want to fight anyone less than a superstar in his last few outings to the squared circle. But there’s no denying that a fight between Zhang and Joshua will be full of fireworks.

Do you think Anthony Joshua and Zhilei Zhang should collide?

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Raj Sarkar

1660 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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