Zhang eyes “Hot” Parker if Joshua bout fails to happen

By Robbie Bannatyne - 12/27/2023 - Comments

Zhilei Zhang says he wants the red-hot Joseph Parker next if he can’t get Anthony Joshua, following the New Zealander’s surprise upset of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder last Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) feels that a fight between him and Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) would be an excellent fight right now.

Joshua is the one that Zhang wants, but he feels that the former WBO champion Parker would be an excellent alternative.

The Saudis could be the ones to decide whether they want Zhang to be Parker’s next opponent, as Joseph is popular over there. If they believe Parker can hang with Zhang, they’ll agree to the idea.

Beating the slim, 213 lb, inactive, gunshy Wilder is a different situation than Parker trying to do the same thing against the powerful, fearless, ultra-aggressive, 270+ lb Zhang. That could wind up a replay of Parker’s loss to Joe Joyce last year.

Parker’s sizzling stardom

Parker beat Wilder by a twelve round unanimous decision by the scores 118–111, 118–110, and 120–108. It wasn’t remotely close, as Parker outboxed and outpunched ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder and had him hurt in the eighth round.

If Parker had pressed it a little harder in that round, he probably could have knocked out Wilder. He was that close to being stopped.

After the fight, Parker doesn’t mention anyone that he wants, but it’s obvious that he’s hoping that Joshua will bless him by giving him a rematch. AJ beat him in 2018 by a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said that he wants him to fight #1 IBF Filip Hrgovic next for the belt once it becomes vacant. So that leaves Parker & Zhang without any dance partners, and it would be perfect if they could arrange a fight.

“[Joseph] Parker might be a good option. Right now, he’s hot, and everybody is looking at him like, ‘Wow, he’s really good,’ and he’s won a couple of fights recently,” said Zhilei Zhang to Fight Hub TV about his interest in taking on Joseph Parker next following his upset win over Deontay Wilder last Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“So, if I can’t get any of these guys, Joseph Parker would be a good option. You never know. Styles make fights,” said Zhang.

Parker would be an excellent option for Zhang if he can’t get any of the popular heavyweights like Joshua to fight him. Zhang might scared away all the good fighters in the division following his consecutive knockout wins over Joe Joyce.

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