Zhang Vs. Parker To Take Place On Joshua-Ngannou Card!

By James Slater - 01/15/2024 - Comments

Later on today, in London, there will be a big press conference to officially announce the heavyweight battle between Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou, to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8. The full card is expected to be announced also, but one fight that is a go has been reported as such by Mike Coppinger, who put out a tweet (now an X) to this effect just minutes ago.

Zhilei Zhang will face Joseph Parker on the card, with more fights to feature. Coppinger’s tweet reads as follows:

YouTube video

“Joseph Parker will fight Zhilei Zhang in the March 8 co-feature to Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, sources tell ESPN. Parker coming off a dominant win over Deontay Wilder. Zhang scored back-to-back stoppage wins over Joe Joyce last year. Terrific co-main.”

This fight is indeed a terrific co-main event, and huge credit goes out to both Parker and Zhang for agreeing to take what is a risky fight for both men. Zhang was linked to a possible fight with Wilder on the card (Wilder may still appear on the March 8 card, against TBA – we will no doubt find out more later today in London), but “Big Bang” against former WBO heavyweight champ Parker is a darn fine match up to see instead.

Parker, who revived his career in a big way with the win over Wilder, the New Zealander having been stopped quite brutally by Joe Joyce some months back, really has shown he is a fighter who is willing to take on just about anybody in the division.

So who wins this fight?

Southpaw Zhang is 26-1-1(22) but he is 40 years of age and the thinking in some quarters is he may begin to feel his age pretty soon. That said, Zhang is a proven banger with a solid chin. Parker will have to be careful not to get tagged the way Joyce got tagged, repeatedly. Parker, who recently turned 32, is currently 34-3(23), and his confidence is soaring as a result of that dominant decision win over Wilder. Can Parker outbox Zhang and avoid all of his big bombs?

Does this fight go the distance? Can this fight top the main event for action? To many, this if pretty much a 50-50 fight.

Who do YOU like?