Zhilei Zhang wants Joseph Parker in March
Heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang has revealed that New Zealander Joseph Parker is his number one target on the AJ-Ngannou card in March in Saudi Arabia.
Parker is coming off a career-best win over fearsome KO king Deontay Wilder, and Zhang can boast back to back stoppages over durable Londoner Joe Joyce, who is known for his granite chin.
The 40-year-old Chinese southpaw told all to Gambling.com:
When will you return?
ZZ: I want to come back during March and that’s the plan but if you’re asking me who I want the next opponent to be realistically, then I say Joseph Parker but does he dare to fight me? I’m open to everything but I am focusing on the gym and being in the ring for my return. I would like to have my next fight to be in Saudi Arabia, but everything is being worked on and is in the process. I can’t say too much about it.
What did you make of Joseph Parker’s win over Deontay Wilder?
ZZ: There is two sides of the coin. Joseph Parker’s activity and Deontay Wilder’s inactivity. Joseph has been really active since his defeat to Joe Joyce and has fought a couple times in a year and has no ring rust. When you look at Wilder, he has had one round in over two years so Wilder is only depending on that big right hand and landed one big punch, but he couldn’t find the right timing or rhythm and that’s where he messed up. Activity is very important.
What did you make of AJ’s win over Wallin?
ZZ: I think Anthony Joshua looked great to be honest. He has found a way to deal with a southpaw and this is probably due to his training (with Ben Davison) and from the first round to the fifth round where he knocked Wallin out, he dominated every round, and it now means Joshua is coming back on track and we can say he’s back.
How would you beat Anthony Joshua, the same fighter who beat Otto Wallin?
ZZ: I’ll see what I do different in the ring but let me tell you this, I have been trying to fight Joshua for years and the fans have wanted it for years but there are two people that don’t want the fight to happen and that is Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua. This has been proven again. Eddie Hearn is a great promoter I have to say that. He does his thing, does his talking but he won’t let me anywhere close to Joshua because he knows what I bring and knows what will happen if we meet.
Have there been any talks between camps to make that fight for the summer?
ZZ: I know Frank Warren wants to make the fight happen and I appreciate him for trying to make it happen, but it really comes down to Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn so that’s the key to the equation. Do they really want this? I don’t think so. I would say it’s around 20% chance that this fight will happen because when you look at the probability, how much do they think they can beat me? Some fighters like Anthony Joshua think if they can beat me on a 70% probability then they will probably face me, but they know it’s not even 50/50 for him if he faces me.