Fresh of the most important victory of his career, Zhilei Zhang may be heading into a world title shot against Tyson Fury.
The man from China upset the odds by comprehensively beating Joe Joyce in London this month. It puts him in line for a shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s unified titles, but it’s the division’s other champion he’s being linked with.
Fury has been out of the ring since a one-sided win over Derek Chisora in December, and his failed talks with Usyk were no secret. That means he’s without a dance partner, and Zhang is one of a handful of available names that seems respectable.
Speaking to IFL TV, ‘Big Bang’ said that he believes talks have begun.
“I just came back from my vacation, so everything is fresh to me. I believe that my team has made communications with their team on that matter.”
Zhang wants it in China, which would unusually make the champion the away fighter but may just tempt Fury given the potential spectacle. As for a date, he’s willing to stick by the summer timeline.
“Let’s do it Tyson. If you’re looking at July, I’ll be ready for you in July.”
The other name linked with Fury is Andy Ruiz Jr, who is number two in the WBC rankings. He’s also confirmed that he’s open to the fight, and will be a clear frontrunner should Joe Joyce activate his rematch clause with Zhang.
During the interview, Zhang confirmed that he had received no official communication to say that this would be the case.
Other than teasing ‘monstrous’ news, Fury hasn’t hinted at who will be occupying the opposite corner.