Zhilei Zhang has announced himself at the heavyweight top table following two conclusive victories over Joe Joyce in London, now finding himself as mandatory challenger for unified champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
The Chinese heavyweight known as ‘Big Bang’ stopped Joyce in the third round of their rematch with a devastating right hook, taking the Brit’s hopes of a world title shot away as well as the tales of an unbreakable chin.
At 40-years-old, it’s now his right to a shot at the WBO world title, and that should technically come against Usyk.
Father of the other heavyweight champion, John Fury, believes Zhang would be leaving the ring with the belt if it happened.
Speaking to Seconds Out, the elder Fury said Usyk can’t handle heavyweight power – something Zhang has proven that he has in both hands.
“On his night, Zhang will give every other person in the heavyweight division apart from Tyson – he’s in a different league – problems.
Zhang knocks Usyk out. He’s too small. The minute Zhang connected on Usyk, he would knock him out.
Again, Usyk might be able to dodge and move around, jib and jab to a points win. But he’s only got to get caught, cause he’s shown before that he can’t take heavyweight power. If Zhang connects, good night.”
Unfortunately for Zhang, he will not be getting his title shot next. The Ukrainian has signed to face Tyson Fury in an undisputed bout, after which the belts are expected to fragment.
‘Big Bang’ may find himself challenging for a vacant title if that’s the case.