Zhilei Zhang is frontrunner to challenge for Tyson Fury’s WBC Heavyweight title next, according to Fury’s US promoter, Bob Arum.
Fury was last out in December in a one-sided thrashing of Derek Chisora – his third contest with that particular countryman – and subsequently entered talks for an undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk.
Those negotiations collapsed, leaving ‘The Gypsy King’ without a dance partner. He recently teased ‘monstrous’ news coming soon.
Arum, who has represented Fury for over four years, has now said that Zhang is the frontrunner and not WBC ranked number two, Andy Ruiz Jr.
Speaking to Ringside Reporter, Arum said they were hoping to finalise a deal this weekend.
“No not really [Andy Ruiz]. We’re focusing on is the Chinese kid that beat Joe Joyce, Zhilei Zhang, he’s the frontrunner for that fight.
It’s likely for July, we’re trying to close that out over this weekend.”
Zhang is coming off the back of a career best performance over Joe Joyce.
The London bout saw ‘Big Bang’ Zhang frustrate Joyce with his southpaw stance and stiff left hand. The local man – and favourite – was deemed unfit to continue after an increasingly swollen eye.
The win made Zhang mandatory for Usyk’s WBO title, and thus his IBF and WBA straps, but the Ukrainian is currently in negotiations to face Daniel Dubois.
It’s unclear at this stage as to where the fight will land. Wembley Stadium is an obvious choice for Fury as champion and a favourite of the fighter, but the intrigue and potential of a big boxing event in China could tempt the promotion to try something different.