Zhilei Zhang’s plans have been decided for him via a contractual rematch clause with Joe Joyce, but the fight hasn’t been locked in just yet.
The 40-year-old Chinese heavyweight upset the odds with his beating of Joyce in April – an exercise in the dangers of southpaws in which his left hand seemingly couldn’t miss.
As a result, Joyce’s eye swelled up dangerously, and the contest was waved off at the halfway stage.
Weeks later, he confirmed that he would be attempting revenge in a second fight, halting any plans Zhang had to move on to pursuing a world title shot.
Zhang told Pro Box TV that the details for the fight were still being figured out.
“It looks like the rematch is the direction we’re heading in, but we’re still trying to figure out all the details. At one point I believe the Tyson Fury fight was on the radar for both teams, but it’s the rematch that got in the way, so that’s the direction we’re heading in.
“It’s up there. I would say a little more than 60 per cent [likely]. We’re looking at – what Frank Warren said was September – and that’s what we’re looking at right now. But it’s not my job. I just train – do my training every day.”
It seems Zhang has indeed missed out a shot at Tyson Fury’s WBC belt with Joyce activating the rematch clause – something he believes was the wrong choice.
“I would have chosen to fight one or two interim fights if I was him. I don’t know why his team is in such a rush to make it happen. I feel like his team made a mistake for the first fight, and now they’re probably going to make the second mistake, and if I beat Joe Joyce again his career’s going to end.
Their team didn’t do comprehensive homework on what I do; what I am. They need to study me more. That’s the mistake. They underestimated me.”
News is expected soon as to the plans, as well as how Tyson Fury’s fight – also pencilled for September – fits into the equation.