Scott Alexander Comes In To Save The Day, Will Face Zhang Zhilei On Saturday

05/04/2022 - By James Slater - Comments

Scott Alexander of Los Angeles deserves a good deal of credit for coming in at very short-notice to fight towering Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei. Saving the show, Alexander has come in as a late sub after Filip Hrgovic was forced to withdraw from the IBF final elimination bout with “Big Bang” due to the sad passing of his father. The Hrgovic-Zhang eliminator will be rescheduled assuming the Chinese southpaw comes through okay against Alexander.

The heavyweight fight now on for the Canelo-Dmitry Bivol card in Las Vegas is of course not anywhere near as big or as important as the Hrgovic-Zhang fight, yet at least 39 year old Zhang will see action and not see a long and full training camp go to waste. Currently 23-0-1(18) Zhang is coming off a quick win over Craig Lewis, while before the November 2021 fight, Zhang was pushed to the limit by Jerry Forrest.

Alexander, 16-4-2(8) has not boxed in a year, his last fight being a decision loss to Carlos Negron. Alexander has also been in with Travis Kauffman, this fight a close majority decision defeat for him. Now, against Zhang, Alexander has the opportunity to score a huge upset and really make something of his ring career. It looks to be a tall order for Alexander.

Again, full credit must go to 33 year old Alexander for coming at short-notice, and let’s hope he can give Zhang a good fight on the night. Still, a Zhang stoppage win looks somewhat likely. And then we will hopefully get that elimination showdown between Zhang and Hrgovic later on this year some time.

Zhang, a 6’6” giant of a man, has not really lived up to the hype and the promise that followed his 2008 Olympic silver medal win. There was talk of a massive super fight with Anthony Joshua, who defeated Zhang at London 2012, yet that fight has not come close to coming to fruition. How good is Zhang and how good can he become at age 39?

Filip Hrgovic Out Of IBF Elimination Bout Vs. Zhilei Zhang; “Big Bang” Looking For Late Sub

After searching and waiting so long – as is so very long – for a willing dance partner, heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic; who found one in towering Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang; their IBF elimination bout all set for this Saturday’s Canelo-Bivol card, is now back to square one.

Reports from various places say Hrgovic has been forced to withdraw from Saturday’s fight with Zhang – with “Big Bang,” as 39-year-old Zhang is known, now looking for a (very) short-notice foe.

It’s been suggested that 29-year-old Hrgovic has pulled out of the fight because of the recent death of his father and his sheer inability to train with focus since the sad passing of his dad, the event hitting the fighter hard. This is of course understandable as far as a fighter pulling out of a fight. If this is the reason Hrgovic, 14-0(12) has withdrawn he gets a pass, no doubt about it.

But how will this affect Hrgovic’s future? How will it affect Zhang’s immediate future? Fans were looking forward to this battle of unbeaten big men, the fight being the highlight of the Canelo-Bivol under-card. Now, we must wait and see when Hrgovic is ready and able to fight again. If Zhang does get a late sub, it’s your guess as well as mine as far as how good the late dance partner will actually be.

There has been no official word yet from Hrgovic or from any member of his team, but the fight with Zhang has been taken down from the BoxRec schedule, with Zhang, 23-0-1(18) now listed to face TBA. Let’s see if the giant from China will actually see action on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

At this time, our thoughts go out to Hrgovic on the sad and unfortunate passing of his father. May this gifted, avoided heavyweight contender get back into things and resume his ring career as soon as he possibly can.