Terry Lane: 'Zhang vs. Wilder is being explored'

It’s been a slow start to the year for boxing, and what better way to promote an event than to announce some unexpected news like the bombshell dropped earlier today with Anthony Joshua facing Francis Ngannou on March 8. There was anticipation of a second shoe to drop and shortly after the fight announcement, Chris Mannix tweeted, “Zhilei Zhang, the Chinese heavyweight who scored back-to-back knockout wins over Joe Joyce last year, is expected to appear on the card. One fight that has been discussed: Zhang-Deontay Wilder.”

ProBoxTV then contacted Terry Lane, who is the advisor of Zhang, to see if there was any truth to what was put out there about his fighter. “I guess it’s kind of out there. Things are moving fast this afternoon,” said Lane. “Zhilei (Zhang) kind of rested up some wear and tear. He’s back in the gym now, and he would love to fight (Deontay) Wilder. We think it’ll be a great fight.”

The 40-year-old Zhang, who ended 2022 with a loss to Filip Hrgovic, had a monster 2023 where he stopped Joe Joyce twice, forcing his popularity to skyrocket in both his home country of China and here in the States. Lane mentioned in multiple interviews that 60 million people in China tuned into Zhang’s rematch with Joyce, which gives everyone an idea of how much attention his fighter is getting.

Lane wanted to be clear that Zhang isn’t avoiding anyone, and that the potential of a Wilder fight is due to big names not being available to fight as soon as March. “With (Daniel) Dubois and (Joseph) Parker taking brakes right now, (Oleksandr) Usyk fighting (Tyson) Fury in February, and now Joshua vs. Ngannou in March, the next biggest fight to make in boxing is Zhang and Wilder,” said Lane. It certainly would be a blockbuster fight, but before everyone gets too excited, business has to be taken care of, and some of boxing’s best fights have fallen apart at the negotiating table. If the Saudis want the fight bad enough, then they will do what’s necessary to make it happen, as shown with Day of Reckoning and Fury vs. Usyk.

ProBoxTV will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the story develops.