Daniel Dubois’ trainer Don Charles is still revelling in the superb victory his man secured at the end of 2023 and has now looked ahead to Joseph Parker taking on Zhilei Zhang.
That historic Day of Reckoning night in December saw Dubois knockout Jarrell Miller late on in the final round, and it also saw Parker put on a career-best performance to beat hard-hitting American Deontay Wilder.
Both results were rather unforeseen and both results leave the winners in a great position in 2024. Parker’s reward for getting through the former WBC champion Wilder is to go straight back into a big challenge with Zhilei Zhang.
The towering Chinese heavyweight twice knocked out Joe Joyce in back-to-back fights last year. His coach Andy Lee has already said the pair relish the biggest tests and Zhang’s coach has said he will not be underestimating Parker.
Speaking to Boxing News, Charles lavished praise on Lee and Parker.
“I think it’s an intriguing fight and you have to commend both men, Andy Lee and Parker on the brilliant game plan they used against Wilder. I hold my hands up, I was wrong.
“Parker was that good on the night with the gameplan he became the puncher on the night against a renowned puncher so who am I to doubt him against Zhang who is also a puncher and a southpaw.”
He then cautioned about what Zhang brings and said it was a hard fight to call.
“He’s a big man, it’s a very good match-up. Joseph is going into this fight with a short pace in between so will use the momentum of the Wilder victory and take it into the Zhang fight. Very hard to call.
“Joseph being the technical fighter he is, and Andy Lee, there’s a really good match up there, they understand each other. They’re going to devise another masterclass plan to negate Zhang and be successful but Zhang is no joke, he’s a serious heavyweight, a good fighter. I’m looking forward to it.”
Former WBO champion Parker, who has responded to what he says are ‘made up’ sparring stories in the Tyson Fury camp, takes on Zhang on the undercard of Anthony Joshua versus Francis Ngannou on March 8 in Saudi Arabia.