Since Zhilei Zhang has battered his way to the top of the heavyweight division, he wants to face the best in the world.
And the Chinese southpaw says he will end Anthony Joshua’s career should the two ever meet in the ring – but he feels the Brit’s team will stand in the way.
That impressive win in the third round very much catapulted him into the world picture and right up at the top of the pile. Though his next move is yet to be announced, he has long been chasing a fight with Tyson Fury and also fancies his chances against Joshua.
Speaking to Boxing News, Zhang was asked if there had been any more negotiations with Joshua about a potential fight.
“Eddie Hearn wouldn’t put Joshua in with me. There is no chance. He was just saying my name to force other fighters to agree on a deal or whatever. I don’t think he was ever really willing to put Joshua in front of me.”
He then claimed Hearn knows that a Joshua fight against Zhang might be his last.
“He knows that Joshua is facing the end of his career if he was put in front of me.”
Zhang is now 40 so will need to move quickly if he is to win a world title. He has had 26 fights and won 21 of them by knockout with just one controversial points loss to Filip Hrgovic on his ledger from 2022.
His status as WBO mandatory means he should get a shot at the winner of the undisputed clash between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk though when that might be is unsure as the fight was pushed back at the weekend following Fury’s narrow points win over boxing debutant Francis Ngannou.