Chinese heavyweight giant Zhilei Zhang, who currently holds the WBO interim heavyweight world title wants to face Anthony Joshua as his next opponent. The bout has some history as well as Joshua secured a decision victory over Zhang during the 2012 Olympic Games en route to winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.
Zhang at 40-years-old is riding a career-high with consecutive stoppage victories over Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce. The last one was a violent one-punch KO. Thus making him the mandatory contender for the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk.
While Joshua notched two wins this year by defeating Jermaine Franklin and knockout of Robert Helenius, his plans to face Deontay Wilder have once again fallen through. Now Zhang seems to want to make this fight happen more than ever.
“It is up there in the air,” Zhang told ProBox TV News directly about a potential Joshua fight. “I have been watching [the] news lately, and there is interest [in that fight].”
Joshua is looking to return in December though time is running out, and Zhang is open to the challenge as he is campaigning by simply saying send the contract as his talking point.
“So regardless of what it looks like, if he wants to fight me, I want to fight him as well,” said Zhang. “Send the contract, I’ll take a look and sign it.”
As for Zhang, he was in good spirits in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this past weekend and dismissed any notion that he will be fighting Efe Ajagba in the near future. Zhang told ProBox TV directly that being at the event was simply him showing support to his team.
“I am here because my managers the Lane Brothers are getting involved in the promotion [of this past weekend’s show in Lake Tahoe, Nevada],” said Zhang to ProBox TV News, when asked if he would fight Efe Ajagba in the future. “There is no concern with the main event at all, they need to work their way up.”
As for the well-humored Zhang, he joked about the power he has as he claims his punching power is a modern cure for insomnia.
“People give me a name, if you have sleeping issues come see me,” said Zhang about his power. “My special ability that can cure people’s insomnia.”
Whether Zhang and Joshua happen next, who knows? It is clear things are changing on a day-to-day basis and given the extreme risk Zhang brings with his power, we will just have to wait and see what team Anthony Joshua decides to do.