Zhilei Zhang is preparing himself for a fight for a world title before he hangs up the gloves – and he appears keen to already get under the skin of who he may be facing.
The 40-year-old heavyweight from China put in a career-best performance back in April, battering Joe Joyce to the point that the referee was forced to stop the fight due to a seriously swollen eye.
Now, ‘Big Bang’ is extremely confident of getting the job done even earlier in the rematch with ‘The Juggernaut.’
Many in the sport feel that Joyce didn’t get enough work in with southpaws in sparring prior to the first bout. This time around, he was encouraged by Tyson Fury to pay a visit to his gym in Morecambe.
“Joe I saw you’ve got the Zhang fight coming up again, if you want some proper southpaw sparring from someone who’s bigger, fatter, quicker, harder puncher, everything than Zhang, then please come up to Morecambe and do some sparring with me.”
“It can only improve it, it will make it better and trust me on this, I’ve got a secret for you and I know how to beat that Zhang. Chop him down like an old oak tree. The offer is there Joe, get yourself down to Morecambe Bay and do as many rounds as you want with myself.”
Joyce didn’t take Fury up on the rounds.
Asked about this offer by Boxing Social, Zhang thought it appropriate to bring up the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency testing he and Joyce are undergoing for the bout.
“I think Joe made a smart decision not going to Morecambe Bay because we’re doing VADA testing.”
Zhang didn’t elaborate on his comments.
Should he beat Joyce for a second time this weekend, he says he’s up for a fight with Fury despite being the mandatory for the division’s other champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
Before there’s any chance of that, Fury must get his crossover bout with MMA star Francis Ngannou out the way. That bout has been confirmed to have VADA testing.