Eddie Hearn has a keen eye on the heavyweight division given his role to play in Anthony Joshua’s pursuit of becoming three-time world champion.
With champions Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury now heading towards an undisputed bout, the promoter must position ‘AJ’ at the top of the rankings for either a shot at the winner or the chance to pick up a vacant belt.
There are people standing in the way though, not least the WBO’s Interim Champion, Zhilei Zhang.
In a conversation with Boxing Social with Hearn and Derek Chisora, the heavyweight veteran pushed the idea of a fight for himself against Zhang.
“Zhang, make it happen. Have you still got the power to make things happen? That’s what I wanna know … I f***ing knock him out.”
Hearn, who had ‘Big Bang’ under his promotional banner until late 2022, said he thinks the 40-year-old southpaw is ‘overrated.’
“I think Zhang’s overrated. Good fighter, big southpaw, but not, for me, you know…”
Zhang has been the main character in two of the most dominant heavyweight wins of 2023, first stopping Joe Joyce in the sixth round due to damage to the Brit’s eye, and then doing it more emphatically in half the time in their rematch.
That thudding right hook that dropped Joyce for the first time in his career catapulted the Chinese fighters into the conversation of the best in the world, with many fans picking him to best Hearn’s heavyweight charge, Anthony Joshua.
It’s a fight that’s unlikely to happen, at least next, with Joshua looking at Deontay Wilder and Filip Hrgovic whilst Zhang looks for a big fight to keep him motivated as he waits for a world title shot, of which he is due.