It’s fair to say that Zhilei Zhang is keeping his options wide open as rumours swirl about who the man from China will face next, following his stoppage win over Joe Joyce this Saturday.
A rematch with Joyce was spoken about moments after the 6th round victory. Tyson Fury also got invited to China, but Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) now has eye’s on Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight world title too.
“This is what we expected,” Said Zhang’s co-manager, Terry Lane in an interview for Sky Sports. “I believe Zhilei is the best heavyweight in the world. Anybody who thinks otherwise, I don't think they are really paying attention.
“Is there a heavyweight who's got a better resume in the last 12 months? He beat Hrgovic but didn't get his hand raised. He just walked through Joe Joyce, which we knew would happen.
“He's been turned down by Anthony Joshua, [Derek] Chisora and [Dillian] Whyte. They won't touch him, so they're out of the equation. He would physically injure and end the career of Deontay Wilder. No-one can make a fight with him, so what does that leave? [Oleksandr] Usyk and Tyson Fury.”
Zhang does find himself in pole-position to face Usyk at some stage this yeah after winning the secondary version of the WBO title. Usyk is expected to face-off with England’s Daniel Dubois in the near future due to a WBA order.
“I know the whole sanctioning body scramble is a mess right now," Lane said. "No one knows how to decipher, no one knows what's going to happen, but those are two fights that are the toughest fights, but they are the ones we want and they are the biggest fights.
"We want to talk with [Queensberry C.E.O] George [Warren] and make that happen. Our future plans are to be future world champion."