In the aftermath of his stunning win over Joe Joyce, Zhilei Zhang called for a shot at WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.
Failing that, the Chinese heavyweight’s attention would likely turn to unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, as he will likely be called as mandatory challenger for Usyk’s WBO title at some point in 2024.
However, former trainer Teddy Atlas has weighed in with his two cents on what should be next for Zhang – and it doesn’t involve either Fury or Usyk, who have now signed to face each other.
Speaking on his podcast The Fight, Atlas explained why he would like to see the Chinese southpaw in with Top Rank’s rising star Jared Anderson
“Zhang is 40 years old, so obviously he needs to do something right away. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in with Jared Anderson.”
“He’s a lot younger and he’s undefeated. I think it would be a nice test for Anderson, especially since ESPN and Top Rank built him up so high – he himself said he’s the most talented heavyweight out there.”
“It’s not like we’re putting him in with Wilder or anyone like that. It’s a guy with one loss and one draw.”
“He’s got some good advantages over Zhang, so I wouldn’t mind seeing that.”
Though a match up between Zhang and Anderson would be an interesting one for a host of reasons, it is unlikely to be one that the Zhoukou native and his backers are particularly keen on.
Though fighting ‘The Real Big Baby’ would be fraught with danger, it would not be anywhere near as financially lucrative as a showdown with either of the heavyweight champions, or even the current top contenders.