WBO Interim Heavyweight Champion Zhilei Zhang has gunned for a former opponent, claiming that he has both been gifted a win and has a track record of illegal tactics.
Zhang twice knocked out the seemingly impossible to hurt Joe Joyce during 2023, claiming the Briton’s mandatory challenger position for a shot at world honours and establishing himself as a serious threat to each and every fighter in the rankings as a result.
He will be made to wait hit turn though, with the IBF the next sanctioning body to have their mandatory called, where Filip Hrgovic, the only man to beat Zhang in the professional ranks, waits to face the winner of Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua for the vacant title.
In an interview with Fight Hype, ‘Big Bang’ Zhang labelled his defeat to the Croatian as a gift, and pointed out one sneaky tactic that he believes has been ever present throughout the career of ‘El Animal.’
“When you look at Hrgovic’s résumé, he was gifted a win by the referee when he beat me to become the mandatory challenger, then he has had two pretty low-level fights to stay busy because he is scared to lose that position.
“He fought Demsey McKean from Australia over twelve rounds, and he kept hitting him on the back of the head.”
Zhang doubled down on his claims, as it appears there is no love lost between the two men following their controversial fight.
“Right now, I can call Hrgvoic the professional of hitting on the back of the head because every fight, every round, he is hitting his opponent on the back of the head.
“Yes, he knocked Mark De Mori out, but he kept hitting him on the back of the head too, that is what he does.”
Zhang has offered to fight on the Fury-Usyk undercard as he continues to prepare for a first world title challenge within the next twelve-to-eighteen months.