Zhang has to get past Parker to land dream fight: “Everyone knows I want to fight Anthony Joshua”
But first, the Chinese powerhouse who scored back to back stoppages over the durable Joe Joyce in 2023, has to win against a former world champion who has just dominated the fearsome Deontay Wilder and won 10 from last 11 bouts. Both boxers lock horns on undercard of the Joshua-Ngannou event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8th.
How do you expect to perform against Joseph Parker, and has Joe Joyce given you a blueprint for the fight?
ZZ: I really think my fight against Parker will be very exciting, and possibly the most exciting of the night. Under normal circumstances, our fight would be the main event. But these amazing cards in Saudi Arabia presented by His Excellency are so special, that I’m just happy to play a part in one of them.
The fight against Parker will be very different than the fight against Joyce. My preparation, approach, and game plan will be different for Parker. Parker performed great against Deontay Wilder and anything can happen in boxing. I am expecting a tough fight, but I think I will win by knockout for sure. I have the power to win in style.
Why did the fight not happen with Deontay Wilder?
ZZ: I still think the fight with Wilder is a possibility for the future. He did not perform the way he can against Parker and only he can tell you why but a fight against Wilder would be a great fight and I am open to it. However, I didn’t know if Parker was going to be available in March. When I learned he was, I was excited for that opportunity, and the organisers and promoters wanted to make that fight.
Will you call out Anthony Joshua if he beats Francis Ngannou?
ZZ: I think everyone knows I want to fight AJ. We fought in the Olympics in 2012 and he beat me. But that was a long time ago. I am here if they want to do it. I want that fight very much – maybe I can ask him in person come 8 March. It is also my dream to fight in at home in China someday. Will it be next? I don’t know. But I am working with my promoter to explore the option.
What do you eat in camp, and what is your favourite food?
ZZ: I don’t count calories. I eat three meals per day. Breakfast is very important. I normally have 4 egg whites and two whole eggs, meat and veggies as well as oatmeal for breakfast. I do focus on protein a lot, but make sure I’m eating vegetables and other nutrients as well. There is a dish called He La Tang from my home province in China. It’s my favourite meal, but I haven’t had it in years because of my training.