Zhilei Zhang (24-1-1, 19KOs) is confident as he arrived at the launch of fight week for his anticipated heavyweight encounter with Joe Joyce (15-0, 14KOs) to take place at the Copper Box Arena, London. Zhang and Joyce will aim to become the WBO’s mandatory challenger for a shot at the current unified world heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. Joyce currently holds the WBO’s mandatory position following his win last September over former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.
Zhang last appeared in August following a narrow points defeat to Filip Hrgovic in Saudi Arabia in a contest which was a final eliminator to decide the IBF’s mandatory challenger to face Usyk. However, despite the defeat to Hrgovic, Zhang feels that he was nothing special looking back at his performance when speaking to IFLTV.
“Everybody said he was one of the best fighters in the world, ranked number three in the IBF. When i got in the ring with him, he was nothing special. I felt like i won that fight, no question.”
When peaking to Bad Left Hook, Zhang complimented Joyce on his fighting style but felt he has the power to trouble Joyce.
“Everybody calls him a Juggernaut for a reason. He does look like one. He’s very well-conditioned, can take a punch, and has an iron chin. All these things are very impressive,” Zhang told Bad Left Hook.
“He’s never fought anyone like me. I have the power to hurt him, and he’ll feel this. If he is a Juggernaut, then I am armor-piercing.
“If i land the perfect shot, then his jaw will go to pieces (when speaking to IFLTV).