Last night, on the Bivol-Canelo card, towering Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang lived up to his “Big Bang” nickname as he blasted out late sub Scott Alexander in the opening round. The 39 year old who stands at 6’6” cracked the previously unstopped Alexander with a big straight left and down on his back Alexander went, unable to continue. Time was just 1:54 and Zhang is now 24-0-1(19). Alexander, who deserves credit for agreeing to come in an such late notice, falls to 16-5-2(8).
Zhang, an accomplished amateur, was of course supposed to have fought fellow unbeaten heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic in an IBF final eliminator on last night’s big card. Hrgovic, however, had to pull out due to the sad passing of his father. Fans were looking forward to seeing Zhang and Hrgovic collide and it may be a case of we fans getting to see the fight later this year, as the word is the fight will be rescheduled.
How good is Zhang? The giant from China can bang, we saw that last night, but in a previous fight, against Jerry Forrest in February of last year, Zhang was given an almighty scare, with Forrest recovering from three early knockdowns to push Zhang hard. Zhang was held to a draw and he was sent to the hospital afterwards, where it was discovered he was suffering from anemia and renal failure which led to him battling severe dehydration.
Zhang has now scored two quick KO wins since going through the toughest ordeal of his pro career. So who wins when Zhang and Hrgovic finally get it on? Again, it’s an interesting match-up and as we know, with the big men of the sport anything can happen. Hrgovic will hopefully make a full recovery as far as his mental state is concerned. The death of his father understandably hit the Croatian fighter hard.
Hopefully, Hrgovic, 14-0(12) will bounce back and the fight with Zhang will indeed take place later on this year some time.