Joshua vs. Ngannou Undercard: Fury Backs Parker to Outbox Zhilei

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 03/04/2024 - Comments

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is throwing his weight behind his close buddy, Joseph Parker, to dethrone WBO interim champion Zhilie Zhang this Friday in their 12-round fight on the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou undercard at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury believes Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) will “outbox” the faster, bigger, and more powerful two-time Olympian Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs), which could be wishful thinking on his part.

Promoter Eddie Hearn also believes Parker will do the job against the 40-year-old Zhang despite having beaten no one of substance apart from the faded former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder last December.

That fight was an oddity of sorts, as the 38-year-old Wilder circled the ring for 12 rounds, throwing only rare punches and wrecking any chances he had of winning the fight by failing to let his hands go.

That fight was more of a case of Wilder losing it by not throwing than Parker doing anything to win it because as bad as Deontay looked, he would have lost ANY of the top 100 heavyweights in the world on that night.

Fury’s Prediction

In an interview with Charlie Parson’s YouTube channel, ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury picked his pal Parker to give Zhang a boxing lesson:

“Joe’s my pal, so I’m never going to go against him. I do think he can win that fight. I think he can outbox him as long as he doesn’t get caught standing still and trading with the guy.”

It’s more likely that Parker will go from being Cinderella at the ball back to the fighter he was, wearing rags and looking like a regular ham & egger, looking scared, and lacking the killer instinct.

Parker had never looked good in his career until fighting Wilder, who again, made him look like a world beater by not throwing punches, and circling the ring endlessly that night. If Wilder had any sense, he would have fired his trainer Malik Scott immediately after the fight, seeing that he failed him.

Fury’s Analysis

The Gypsy King gives him two cents on Parker’s assets and ‘Big Bang’ Zhang’s flaws in his game that Joseph can take advantage of on Friday night:

“Joe has got very good footwork and boxing ability‚Ķ Zhang has got fast hands and slow feet so if you stand in front of him he’ll punch you to pieces.”

YouTube video