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Zhang Aims to Overpower Parker in Riyadh Clash

The heavyweight boxing scene is set for another thrilling matchup as Joseph Parker faces Zhilei Zhang in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the Joshua vs Ngannou card this Friday. Derek Bilton analyzes the upcoming clash between these two heavyweight stars.

Joseph Parker, the New Zealander with a record of 34-3 (23), is coming off a surprising upset win against Deontay Wilder in December, making the world divert its attention from the anticipated Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder matchup. Parker’s strategic boxing style, showcased through effective jabbing and countering, earned him a well-deserved victory against ‘The Bronze Bomber.’

Despite his recent success, Parker’s reward is not an easy bout for a decent payday. He now faces Zhilei Zhang, a formidable opponent with a record of 26-1-1 (21), known for his impressive stoppage wins over Joe Joyce. Zhang, a Chinese powerhouse, aims to continue his winning streak and stake his claim in the competitive heavyweight division.

While Zhang may be displeased about missing out on mega-money fights against Fury and Joshua, he understands the business dynamics. Zhang, promoted by Eddie Hearn in the past, recognizes the risks involved in facing top-tier opponents like Joshua at this stage of his career.

Zhang’s southpaw style and ferocious power make him a significant threat. Despite being slightly older than Parker at 32, Zhang has fewer miles on the clock, making this clash an intriguing encounter.

Parker, currently on a four-fight winning streak, proved his resilience against Wilder. However, facing Zhang presents a new set of challenges. The odds place Parker as a 2/1 underdog, but given his recent performances, he has supporters anticipating an upset.

The fight promises excitement, with both fighters possessing the ability to engage in a fiery showdown. Parker’s impressive resume, win or lose, adds to the anticipation surrounding this bout. While the outcome is not a clear 50-50, all three results remain possible.

The hunch is that Zhang’s timing and power will pose a greater challenge to Parker than Wilder did. With this in mind, the odds of 4/9 for Zhang seem reasonable. The “Big Bang” holds an advantage in power, and if previous opponents like Dereck Chisora and Joyce found Parker’s chin, Zhang can do the same, potentially securing an early finish in the first half of the bout.

As fans gear up for this clash of heavyweights in Riyadh, the expectations for an intense and closely contested battle are on the rise.

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