WBO Interim Heavyweight Champion Zhilei Zhang has given his prediction ahead of the upcoming showdown between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, where he gave a controversial take on the night’s action.
Zhang twice knocked out the formidably chinned Joe Joyce to claim the spot as WBO mandatory challenger and position himself for a shot at the victor of Fury-Usyk.
However, despite being well-poised for a title challenge, ‘Big Bang’ Zhang has opted to stay active and risk losing that position, by facing Joseph Parker on the Joshua-Ngannou card, just two-and-a-half months after Parker’s career-best win against Deontay Wilder.
In an interview with Fight Hype, Zhang declared that real boxing fans will recognise that his bout is the true main-event of the card, labelling Joshua-Ngannou as nothing more than a ten-round exhibition with ‘no question’ that ‘AJ’ will come out on top.
“I think, from my perspective, that is a ten-round exhibition. A lot of people are going to tune in to watch that fight because they want to see boxing versus MMA, Joshua versus Ngannou, two famous athletes going at each other.
“To me, there is no question that Joshua will get the victory and it’s just, like I said, a ten-round exhibition and if you really look at it from boxing perspective, you know who the main-event will be.”
Eddie Hearn has defended the Joshua-Ngannou fight, arguing that the jeopardy involved and the performance of Ngannou against Tyson Fury makes it a legitimately tough contest for Joshua, despite the Cameroonian’s official 0-1 record.
The Matchroom promoter also claims that the winner will get a shot at the undisputed title, but the itchy feet of the IBF and the Fury-Usyk rematch clause cast doubt upon the truth of that statement.