Tyson Fury Breaks Down Parker vs. Zhang with Mixed Feelings

By Michael Collins - 03/06/2024 - Comments

Tyson Fury gives his close friend, Joseph Parker, the edge against WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang for their fight this Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury feels that Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) should win based on his youth against the 40-year-old Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) in their 12-round clash on DAZN PPV at the Kingdom Arena. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. UK and 11:00. ET.

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Despite Zhang being eight years older than the 32-year-old Parker, the oddsmakers have installed him as the favorite, as they’re not sold on the New Zealander after his win over Deontay Wilder.

They noted that Wilder didn’t look like his old self and didn’t see anything special from Parker that would suggest that he would defeat Zhang or any of the top-rung heavyweights.

The Age Factor

“He’s got another tough fight against Zhang. I saw Zhang yesterday. He’s not as big as I thought he was on tele, but he’s still awkward and a good fighter for his age as well,” said Tyson Fury to Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel about Zhilei Zhang, who will defend his WBO interim heavyweight title against Fury’s friend, Joseph Parker, this Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The former WBO champion Parker is facing a tougher opponent than anyone he’s faced since his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2018.

Zhang is fighting at a better level now than the guys that Parker has fought in the last six years, and it’s going to be interesting to see how well he does against this type of fighter. If Parker wins, it’ll open the door for other well-paying undercard fights in Saudi Arabia.

“Joe is 32-year-old should be outdoing a 41-year-old [correction: 40], but that’s just my opinion. Joe is a very improved fighter and he’s in good form,” Fury continued. “I think it was a little bit of both [38-year-old Deontay Wilder having declined. Joe’s improvement. He’s more confident, and he’s working with Andy Lee.

Underdog with Potential

“He’s got more experience. He’s got four or five fights on the spin with activity. It’s a great thing, and a little bit of Wilder’s decline and his inactivity. Not a little bit. He only had one round in two years. You can’t do that. It’s not good for a boxer or any fighter,” said Fury when asked if Parker’s win over Deontay was due to improvements in his game or a case of Wilder having deteriorated.

“Joe is definitely the underdog man, so I’m really excited to see if he can beat Zhang. Joe is a confident guy. He has no nastiness in him. Sometimes, it’s a hindrance because he needs a bit of nastiness to get the job,” said Fury.

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