Zhilei Zhang Targets Explosive Co-Main Event Showdown for Usyk vs Fury Card
Zhilei Zhang, fresh off a resounding victory over Joe Joyce, eyes a co-main event spectacle against Nigerian powerhouse Efe Ajagba for the historic Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk bill. Amid the absence of confirmed undercard fights for the event, Zhang, having positioned himself as Usyk’s WBO mandatory and ranked No. 4 in Ring Magazine’s prestigious heavyweight rankings, eagerly seeks a prominent role on this monumental boxing card.
Following his triumph over Joyce in consecutive bouts, Zhang has ascended into the upper echelons of the heavyweight division. His journey to this current standing represents a stark contrast to where he stood just a year ago, emphasizing his remarkable transformation within the sport.
Zhang’s resurgence stemmed from a critical period marred by setbacks. Initially underestimated, he faced skepticism after encountering a draw with American fighter Jerry Forrest, despite dominating early rounds. Subsequently, Zhang suffered his first professional defeat against Filip Hrgovic in an IBF final eliminator, a decision that many believed could have swung in his favor.
However, the seasoned boxer proved resilient. At 40 years old, with the specter of a dwindling career looming, Zhang rallied against Joyce. In a stunning turn of events, Zhang secured victory in their rematch, showcasing his prowess by closing Joyce’s eye in the first fight and finishing him with a devastating right hook in the third round of their subsequent clash.
Now buoyed by this momentum, Zhang eyes an opportunity to further solidify his resurgence. His ambition is to feature in a showcase fight as part of the Usyk vs Fury undercard on February 17, aiming to deliver a compelling co-main event spectacle alongside Efe Ajagba, promising an explosive clash that could steal the spotlight on this historic boxing card.