The Ageless Warrior: Zhilei Zhang Eyes Another Title Shot

By Raj Parmar - 02/01/2024 - Comments

The heavyweight warrior who doesn’t age, Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs), will be looking to march through Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) on March 8th at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Zhang has looked impressive in his last three fights, destroying Parker conqueror Joe Joyce twice by knockout and getting robbed in a fight against Filip Hrgovic, which he appeared to win by four rounds at the minimum.

Parker gained momentum from his win over former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder last December. Based on that performance, some believe Parker will do the same to Zhang.

Can Zhang Adapt?

To defeat Parker, Zhang will need to be able to deal with the movement the former WBO champion Parker will be using against him because he successfully used it in his last fight against Wilder.

Parker will be throwing to the body the way Jerry Forrest did in his fight with Zhang, hoping to duplicate the same results as him.

We’ll likely see Parker leaning forward, allowing him to throw stabbing jabs at Zhang’s midsection. Parker won’t dare get close when throwing body shots because that would be in a position of being countered.

The 40-year-old WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhang could put himself in a position to challenge for a world title in 2025 after the smoke clears from the fights involving Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, and Francis Ngannou.

What would be interesting is if Zhang winds up facing Ngannou for the undisputed championship in 2025.

That would upset the British promoters, who handle Joshua and Fury, as they expect one of those two to hold all the belts at the end of the year.

Pressure Play

“I believe I will put a lot of pressure on him,” said Zhang to Fighthype about his fight against Joseph Parker on March 8th.

“At 40 years old, the legs have to be going, and he’s a plodding puncher. Joe Joyce, even though he’s athletic, he’s a plodding puncher as well,” said Sergio Mora to DAZN Boxing, giving his two cents on the Parker vs. Zhang fight. “You need to be fleet-footed against smaller fighters.

“I don’t see it against Parker with that momentum and that confidence. Everything is going his way. So, I like Joseph Parker in this fight, but I love this match-up. It’s going to be a great fight,” said Mora.