Chinese Power” struck again last night, in the form of a KO of the Year contender. As fans who saw the fight know, Zhilei Zhang repeated his win over Joe Joyce from earlier this year, and “Big Bang” did it in quick, devastating fashion. Southpaw Zhang’s crushing right hook to the head flattened the previously able to take anything “Juggernaut,” the fight effectively over the split-second the bomb detonated.
Now 26-1-1(21) 40 year old Zhang, an absolute superstar in China, where his fights now generate viewing figures in the high millions, wants a massive fight next. While 38 year old Joyce, now 15-2(14) has some critical thinking to do as far as what he does next, Zhang wants Tyson Fury, he wants Oleksandr Usyk. One of the most interesting and exciting big men of the sport (and at 6’6” and around 287 pounds, Zhang is BIG), Zhang just might be the man to topple either Fury or Usyk.
And Zhang has earned his shot. The WBO interim heavyweight champ may wait until a mandatory is called, with him getting a shot at reigning WBO/IBF/WBA ruler Usyk, but this could take time (IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic, the only man to have beaten Zhang, this via controversial decision in 2020, is next in line for a shot at Usyk). Fury, if he won’t fight Usyk after his perceived cash-grab of a contest with Francis Ngannou, could fight Zhang. It seems like a great fight to make, and it’s one fans would absolutely tune in for.
Fury, before he signed to fight Ngannou, actually said that a fight between himself and Zhang would have been a good one, “but Joe Joyce activated his rematch clause and that was that.” Now, there seems to be nothing stopping Fury from fighting Zhang next year. Nothing apart from Fury’s possible trepidation, that is.
Zhang again called Fury out, this after taking out Joyce in stunning fashion.
“I want to ask the audience a question,” Zhang said last night after smashing Joyce. “Do you want to see me shut up Tyson Fury?”
You know what: I want to see Zhang TRY. I want to see the fight, how about you? Again, unless Fury fights Usyk after the Ngannou affair, or unless Zhang fights Usyk next, THE heavyweight fight to make is Fury Vs. Zhang. Two huge men, both possessing skill and power, both having been knocked down but with both getting back up. It seems like a fascinating match up. Zhang wants it, but will Fury give it to us?