Filip Hrgovic – Zhilei Zhang Possible; Both Guys Want It

12/06/2021 - By James Slater - Comments

Filip Hrgovic, unbeaten at 14-0(12) says he wants “a hard fight,” the Croatian who strongly feels he has been and is being avoided by his rival top contenders (as others feel is the case) says he needs a fight that will “get his adrenaline pumping.” Speaking to Boxing Social after his win on Saturday night – a third-round stoppage of an unbeaten but over-matched Emir Ahmatovic – Hrgovic made it clear he needs a testing fight.

This testing fight may or may not come against towering Chinese heavyweight, Zhilei Zhang. Zhang called out Hrgovic after his own quick stoppage win last week over, over Craig Lewis, and Hrgovic and his team are more than willing to take the fight. For some reason, “Big Bang,” as Zhilei is known, called Hrgovic a “baby.” Hrgovic, who prefers the “El Animal” nickname, responded.

“Let’s go, Zhang,” Hrgovic said. “I think he only said that [I was a baby] after the fight. The next day, when he woke up, he will have said, ‘oh my God, what did I say?’ I think he will change his mind very quick, but I hope not – I hope we can make that fight happen next. [He must] try and become a little bit faster, or else it’s not going to be an interesting fight. If he is slow, it’s gonna be boring, you know (laughs).”

Zhang, 23-0-1(18) is pretty slow on his feet but he is big (at 6’6” he stands the same height as Hrgovic) and he has power. It would be an interesting fight between Zhang and Hrgovic, that’s for sure. Both men have a solid amateur career behind them and both guys want to be tested at top level. There is talk this fight could be a final eliminator of some kind. Who wins if Hrgovic and Zhang do collide? Hrgovic would be my pick. Zhang struggled mightily in his draw with Jerry Forrest, being hospitalised afterwards due to suffering from anemia, high enzyme levels and low-level renal failure, whereas Hrgovic has never been pushed at pro level. Also, southpaw Zhang is already 38 years of age. How much better is he really going to get?

Let’s hope the respective promoters can get this one over the line some time in the first quarter of next year.