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Zhang's China Homecoming in the Cards with Parker Showdown Victory"

In a bid for a hero’s welcome, heavyweight Zhilei Zhang eyes a triumphant return to his native China, should he emerge victorious against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia this Friday.

Bob Arum, Zhang’s promoter, has laid out the plan for Zhang to headline a card in Macau later this year if he manages to topple Parker, positioning the 40-year-old boxer for a homecoming celebration. The potential matchup promises to be against a top-10 contender, adding an extra layer of excitement for Zhang’s fans.

Zhang, aka “Big Bang,” currently sits at No. 3 in “The Ring” heavyweight rankings after securing his second consecutive win over Joe Joyce in September. His opponent, Parker, follows closely at No. 4, impressing with a dominant performance against former WBC champion Deontay Wilder in December.

As the co-main event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Zhang-Parker bout shares the stage with the main event featuring Joshua versus former UFC champion Francis Ngannou. Ngannou’s shot at the main event comes on the heels of his narrow defeat by WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, setting the stage for an intriguing showdown.

Arum, the 92-year-old Top Rank chairman, expresses his interest in Zhang’s upcoming fight and Ngannou’s consecutive challenges against heavyweight champions. Despite his excitement, Arum notes that he’ll be sitting out the Riyadh trip, citing an abundance of global travel commitments.

The first half of 2024 sees Arum globetrotting, from Tokyo for Naoya Inoue’s super-bantamweight title defense to Perth, Australia, for Vasiliy Lomachenko’s lightweight bout against George Kambosos Jr. The schedule continues with Fury’s bout against Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh on May 18, followed by Artur Beterbiev’s clash with Dmitrii Bivol for the undisputed light heavyweight title.

Amidst this flurry of global activity, Arum’s vision for Zhang’s China homecoming looms large, promising an exciting chapter in the heavyweight boxer’s career.

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