Roc Nation heavyweight boxer Zhang Zhilei and super middleweight boxer Junior Younan made triumphant returns to China and Brooklyn, respectively, where they each delivered sensational knockouts in front of their hometown fans.
For Zhilei (20-0, 16 KOs), he dazzled in his appearance in Changsha, China on Friday, when he recorded a third-round knockout over Donald Haynesworth (15-3-1, 13 KOs) to retain his WBO Oriental Heavyweight title. The showing marked Zhilei’s first fight in China since January 21, 2017, when he defeated Peter Graham to claim his championship belt. Zhang is now ranked No. 6 in the WBO World Heavyweight ratings and firmly establishing himself into world title contention.
Meanwhile, Younan (14-0, 10 KOs) wasted little time with his veteran opponent Evert Bravo (24-9-1, 18 KOs), dispatching him via first-round knockout at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. It was quite a performance for Younan, who hadn’t fought in Brooklyn – and in front of his hometown friends and family – since his bout against Mike Sawyer the Barclays Center on June 6, 2015.
“I’m proud of Zhilei and Junior’s performances and glad they had an opportunity to enjoy these victories in their home areas,” Roc Nation Sports promoter Dino Duva said. “Overall, this was a fantastic weekend for Roc Nation Boxing and we look forward to sharing details for Junior and Zhilei’s next fights in the near future.”
Given Zhilei’s statement victory, Roc Nation Sports is working to negotiate an opportunity for the 35-year-old to fight a world class heavyweight contender for his next bout. Duva is tentatively looking at scheduling that fight for November 24 in Monaco.
He is also evaluating options for Younan’s next opponent as soon as possible as the Brooklyn native continues his ascension in the super middleweight rankings.
Roc Nation Boxers Zhang Zhilei And Junior Younan To Make Triumphant Homecomings In The Ring
Roc Nation Sports today announced that Zhang Zhilei and Junior Younan will make their triumphant homecomings in the ring this weekend. Zhang Zhilei (19-0, 15 KOs) will return home to China on Friday, Sept. 28 to defend his WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title in a 10-round bout against Don Haynesworth (15-2, 13 KOs) in Changsha. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Sept. 29, super middleweight Junior Younan (13-0-1, 9 KOs) will take on Evert Bravo (24-8-1, 18 KOs) in an eight-round bout in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. at the Kings Theatre.
Zhang Zhilei, ranked No. 6 in the world by the WBO, won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title in January 2017 via a knockout over Australian Peter Graham. His last fight on July 20, ended in a first-round KO over Eugen Buchmueller of Germany at the WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa. If Zhang wins his upcoming bout on Sept. 28 and retains the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title, he will potentially fight on November 24 in Monaco against a world class contender on DAZN. If he is victorious, he would then level himself up to boxing greats in hopes of competing for a World Heavyweight Title in 2019.
“We believe that Zhilei is ready to make his move against the top heavyweights in the world and fight for the World Heavyweight Championship sometime in 2019,” said Roc Nation Sports promoter Dino Duva. “He has worked very hard to get there, and I have complete confidence that he can make history as the first Chinese World Heavyweight Champion.”
Younan also has a chance to continue his professional ascension in his first fight in Brooklyn since June 2015, when he defeated Mike Sawyer by TKO on the Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale undercard at Barclays Center. His opponent, Bravo, is a boxing veteran who gave world-ranked contender Seanie Monaghan all he could handle in a 2017 match. Bravo is coming off a seven-month hiatus after his last fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo in Mérida, Yuc., Mexico.
Tickets prices for Younan’s fight are $150, $125, $100, $60 and $35 can be purchased in person at Kings Theatre or online here.