Zhilei Zhang reacts to Day of Reckoning Results & Fight News Update

There was a heavyweight bonanza earlier today called “The Day of Reckoning.” While Anthony Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs), Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs), and Agit Kabayel (24-0, 16 KOs) looked impressive, interim WBO heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) was not easily impressed. The 40-year-old heavyweight took to his Instagram stories to share his reaction to today’s heavyweight fights. “Not Impressed. I beat everybody,” said Zhang while the camera showed the DAZN PPV on his TV screen. 

Zhang is a heavyweight who saw his stock rise tremendously this year after losing to Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) in August 2022. Ironically, Hrgovic was on today’s card and won by first-round knockout. Hrgovic has stated in interviews that he wouldn’t mind another crack at Zhang even though he beat him as it was a controversial decision. He feels he can win more decisively in a rematch, but that was all before this fight. The path for Hrgovic now leads him to an IBF title fight next year, whether against the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk or the next ranked and available opponent. Joshua’s win and Deontay Wilder’s loss look to have changed their expected fight plans (Joshua vs. Wilder on March 9), which may lead to Joshua fighting Hrgovic for the IBF title.

Did today’s fight results change for the better, or worse, the plans or options for Zhang? ProBoxTV checked in with his manager, Terry Lane, who was gracious enough to call back during this busy holiday season.

Lane told ProBoxTV, “Today’s results was good news for us. For the past four weeks, we’ve been trying to match Zhilei (Zhang) up. It didn’t work out for one reason or the other. Either guys were scheduled on this card (Day of Reckoning) or couldn’t take the fight for some reason.” 

Lane continued, “We made the decision last week to just wait and see what happens with this card. The fact that Joshua, Parker, (Agit) Kabyle & (Daniel) Dubois all emerged as possibilities is a very good thing for us. It looks like we can make a fight with Parker, but we want to push for Joshua. We were slated to fight on February 17 (Fury vs. Usyk undercard), but we could get pushed to the March 9 card, depending on what these guys are able to do. We would love to fight Anthony Joshua on March 9. The top three guys we are interested in are Joshua, Parker & Dubois.”

The heavyweight division is coming into 2024 with some interesting storylines and the potential for some great matchups. Zhang has boosted the attention to the heavyweight division with his two victories over Joe Joyce this year and will look to continue that momentum. A fight between Zhang and any of the three heavyweights Lane mentioned would be a big fight to look forward to. When the heavyweight division heats up, boxing generally elevates, so there are some exciting times ahead as we go into next year.