It was a pretty interesting press conference today, with heavyweights Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce coming together for the final time (aside from the official weigh-in) before they rumble in Saturday night’s quite fascinating rematch (who do you like: Repeat or his opposite, Revenge?)
But 40 year old Chinese southpaw Zhang certainly came out with the most media-grabbed quotes; specifically, what Zhang had to say about Tyson Fury – or what “Big Bang” suggested about Fury – circulating widely. Zhang did the rounds, speaking with IFL TV, Boxing Social, and other outlets, and the message was the same. Zhang, when asked about Tyson Fury’s recent but declined offer to have Joyce come to his Morecambe training camp, so as to help Joyce and “give him the secret that would see him beat Zhang,” the man who stopped Joyce in April had the following, somewhat cryptic things to say.
“I think Joe Joyce made a smart and good decision not going there, because we’re doing VADA tests,” Zhang said.
When asked to explain what he meant by his leading comment, Zhang was cagey.
“I don’t know, but I just have to put the message out there that we’re doing very strict VADA testing for this fight,” Zhang said. “In two weeks, I was tested three times. Random. And I believe that there will be other tests after the fight.”
So, what was Zhang driving at? Maybe you have your opinion! But potential lawsuits aside, Zhang obviously wants it to be known that he is a clean athlete. At this time, where we have seen so many fighters busted for taking this or for taking that, it’s great that Zhang is being thoroughly tested and that he is more than happy about it. Can the same be said of other active heavyweights?
Zhang said he would love to fight Fury, whether this fight happens after the reigning WBC heavyweight champ has fought a unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk or not (continued whispers say the four-belt showdown is either very close or has even been signed for the Middle East before Christmas – believe it or not, it’s up to you).
First, though, we have Zhang-Joyce II on Saturday. Again, will it be repeat, or will it be revenge?