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Three Potential Next Opponents for Zhilei Zhang

June Boxing Schedule: Key Matches and Title Bouts


Three Potential Next Opponents for Zhilei Zhang

Leigh Dawney/Queensberry Promotions

Three Potential Next Opponents for Zhilei Zhang

Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) reconfirmed his dominance over Joe Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) on September 23, stopping him in devastating fashion. Their rematch was brought to an end in round three when Zhang landed a hard right hook to the head of Joyce after a left hook to the body. The Chinese southpaw has catapulted himself into world title contention by retaining his WBO interim heavyweight title. 

Zhang’s dominant win over Joyce began with a cagey opening round, which saw the Chinese fighter close the distance in round two and find his range and land with impressive frequency to Joyce’s head. The third round saw Zhang fire in a heavy-looking left hook to the body, followed up with a devastating right hook, sending Joyce crashing face-first to the canvas.

What’s next for Zhang? Big Fight Weekend has decided to look at three potential opponents for “Big Bang.”

Three Potential Next Opponents for Zhilei Zhang

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Zhilei Zhang vs. Oleksandr Usyk

A likely future opponent for “Big Bang” is the current WBO title holder Oleksandr Usyk, who recently survived a fifth-round scare and stopped Daniel Dubois. Zhang is the mandatory challenger for the WBO strap, meaning a collision between these two heavyweights is likely. The Ukrainian is seemingly focused on a massive Undisputed fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury

Usyk has fulfilled his WBA mandatory by stopping Dubois. If the undisputed fight is not made, we could see Usyk fulfil his WBO mandatory. He has proven he is prepared to travel in order to make a fight, and a potential world title fight in China would be a huge occasion. 

Zhang would undoubtedly pose questions to Usyk he has not been asked in the heavyweight division. His sheer size would make him imposing. The Ukranian would have to be faultless fighting off the back foot, with “Big Bang” the likely aggressor. His ability to switch between his opponent’s head and body with speed and power make him a threat to any heavyweight.

Hear Dan Rafael and T.J. Rives discussing Zhang’s future after the Joyce KO on the latest “Fight Freaks Unite Recap Podcast” by clicking play below,

Zhang vs. Tyson Fury

A potential fight between Fury and “Big Bang” would be a coming together of two giants. Fury uses his height and weight brilliantly as seen against Wilder – where he leaned on his opponent and wore him down. Zhang himself is a six-foot-six deceptively quick southpaw whose speed was too much for Joyce in both fights. “Big Bang” has some attributes Fury wouldn’t have encountered before.

The KO threat and slick hand speed would undoubtedly present a challenging puzzle for Fury to solve. Zhang called “The Gypsy King” out straight after his second win over Joyce, but it remains to be seen if the fight would interest Fury, who is preparing to take on Francis Ngannou. Big Fight Weekend recently looked at the 5 biggest Tyson Fury fights.

Zhang vs. Deontay Wilder

Zhang vs. Deontay Wilder would almost certainly provide fireworks, with both fighters being heavy-handed KO specialists. Wilder has bulldozed through almost every opposition apart from Fury, and Zhang has announced himself in the world title conversation with his devastating wins over Joyce.

The acid test in this potential shoot-out would be if Zhang can take a Wilder bomb. “Big Bang” will need to adopt similar tactics to his win over Joyce in their second fight. His accurate southpaw jab will need to be at its best, and the switch-hitting between body and head will be a vital weapon for the Chinese heavyweight. Out of the possible options for Zhang – this is one of the most intriguing, with both fighters capable of turning the lights out on their opponent.

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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