Zhang: "I want to fight one of the four guys: Usyk, Fury, Wilder or Joshua"Gambling.com recently spoke to Chinese heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21KO) who is ranked as Ring Magazine’s World No.5 in the division.
"Big Bang" Zhang revealed that investors in China are hopeful of making a fight against Briton Anthony Joshua as well as claiming he asked Eddie Hearn to make the fight when he was under his promotional outfit, but he refused.
How many fights will Frank Warren be promoting for you and are you in talks about fighting a specific opponent next?
Zhang: "I do have a multi-fight contract with Frank Warren but as far as the next fight alongside the date and location, it is still up in the air. For me, I don’t care who I fight, I just want to fight, but for me my mission is to stay focused, prepared and when the time is right, it will be a significant fight next.
"I want to fight one of the four guys: Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. I think Joshua is a big option for me considering Fury and Usyk have signed for a unification fight to happen next. I have history with Anthony Joshua (from the 2012 Olympics), and I used to be with Matchroom Boxing, but they never wanted to make the fight with me.
"All of a sudden, there is now talk from Eddie Hearn about a fight between myself and Anthony Joshua, but I never saw anything materialise with the fight (when I was promoted by him). If they are really interested, I am here 24/7 so send over the contract and we will get it on.
"When I was with Matchroom, my team spoke to Matchroom face to face, and they knew I wanted the fight, but they never decided to make it for whatever reason. I can go to London for the fight with Joshua, Saudi Arabia is an option or even China. I respect everybody who steps in the ring to compete with the elite fighters. To me, no matter who the opponent is, I have the ability to put them to sleep with one punch."
Could China become a force in boxing like Saudi Arabia and host Zhang v Joshua?
Zhang: "I have to give credit to Saudi Arabia with their promoters and the government for doing a tremendous job to make boxing one of their biggest sports. I’m a household name in China and the people are looking to witness greatness. If they can see a professional boxing event on their doorstep, then they will open the doors for a big fight.
"I have been talking to a lot of Chinese companies and investor groups, and they are passionate about making Zhang vs Joshua in China. They are new and have never done a world title fight before in China. It would be the first one to happen in decades and it takes time to facilitate those deals. I believe in the next two years something big is on the way and a big world title fight will happen in China."
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