Zhilei Zhang’s advisor: “Derek Chisora is the name I love. Joe Joyce is also a fight we would love to very much. Let me put it like that; there is no name we are looking for. to avoid.”
Last updated: 02/22/21 17:37 pm
Zhilei Zhang would risk his perfect record against a British heavyweight in the UK “for the right occasion” and named Derek Chisora and Joe Joyce.
Undefeated Chinese contender Zhang is aiming to extend his record to 23-0 against Jerry Forrest on Saturday in Miami, on the flip side of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s world title fight with Avni Yildirim.
“We are looking for a step against a big name,” said Zhang’s advisor, Terry Lane. Sky Sports.
The key to a mega-fight in China?
Can Zhilei Zhang mix commercial appeal and genuine talent to bring a major fight to an untapped audience?
“We want a name that will draw more attention to Zhang because he doesn’t have a big name on his resume yet.
“Chisora is the name I love. Joyce is also a fight we would love.
“Let me put it like this; there is no name we seek to avoid.”
Zhang is now only promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, and although his career has been based in the US, he wants to fight in front of his UK-based Chinese fans, Lane says.
“There are more avid boxing fans in the UK, including the Chinese community,” he says.
“Boxers, golfers or any athlete are global these days, so we would definitely look at the UK.
“We have no reservations about this. The sand beneath our feet is constantly changing but, for the right opportunity, we would.”
Zhang lost to eventual gold medalist Anthony Joshua at the London 2012 Games – four years earlier he won silver in Beijing.
Now 37 years old, he is ranked # 8 in the WBO rankings and # 14 by the IBF.
The WBO belt, owned by Joshua and ready to be in the mix for his proposed undisputed title fight with Tyson Fury, could later fragment as Oleksandr Usyk is set to face Joyce for the interim release.
This would leave, currently, only Joseph Parker or Junior Fa, Andy Ruiz Jr, Frank Sanchez and Michael Hunter between Zhang and the title.
“None of these names scare me,” Lane says. “None of these names give me chills. We don’t want to avoid any of these fights.”
The WBO road is Zhang’s plan, he explains, “It’s boxing’s secret sauce.
“Zhang has to win on Saturday, he has to look good, he has to dominate the fight.
“After that, we have to measure ourselves against a big name. Once he wins that, there’s no denying that he would be in the mix for a world title.
“There is a unique opportunity with Zhang and the Chinese market and we are getting closer to a world title shot.
“Musical chairs that are the professional boxing game, things change quickly. It’s possible that in a few fights after Saturday, Zhang will be there.”