“Big Bang” Zhang Eyes Joshua Rematch After Parker Clash, Dreams of China Showdown

By Rob Smith - 01/23/2024 - Comments

Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang says he wants a rematch with Anthony Joshua if they succeed in their next fight on March 8th in Saudi Arabia. It’s unlikely that Zhang will get the opportunity to battle Joshua, as his promoter, Eddie Hearn, has been cool with AJ facing him.

The only fight that Hearn wants for Joshua is for the undisputed, which he hopes will be against Tyson Fury if he wins his match against Oleksandr Usyk.

Hearn does not want to put Zhang in front of Joshua as another obstacle that must be dealt with, and that’s understandable. Joshua could lose that fight, which is why he’s fighting Ngannou instead.

Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) lost to Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) by a close decision in the 2012 London Olympics in a fight that looked even at the end.

Like in Joshua’s other fights in that competition, he was given victories, but he didn’t look deserving of the gold medal that was handed out to him.

Zhang is defending his WBO interim heavyweight title against Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) in the chief support bout on the March 8th card in Riyadh. He’ll likely tell the media after the fight that he wants Joshua next.

Joshua is fighting MMA guy Francis Ngannou (0-1) in a 10-round contest. The winner will earn a shot at fighting for the undisputed championship against the victor of the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk clash, which takes place next month on February 17th.

Despite his age, the 40-year-old Zhang appears to be fighting at a higher level than Joshua right now. Big Bang has faster hands than Joshua, a better chin, and superior power.

Whatever happened in the Olympics eleven years ago is meaningless now, as the 34-year-old Joshua has a lot of mileage on him now, and he’s just being kept together due to the match-making that’s being done for him by his promoter Hearn, who has fed these lower-level fighters to rebuild him since his consecutive losses to Usyk:

– Otto Wallin
– Robert Helenius
– Jermaine Franklin

You can argue that none of those heavyweights are true top-tier fighters, and that’s why Joshua’s wins over them give a skewed picture of his status. He won those fights but fought lower-level opposition and was kept away from top-tier heavyweights like Zhang.

The only way Zhang gets a chance to fight Joshua is if the Saudis insist on that match happening.