Home Boxing News Zhilei Zhang considering Plan C after Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight...

Zhilei Zhang considering Plan C after Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight announcement

Zhilei Zhang. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Heavyweight contender Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang 26-1-1 (21) is not prepared to sit on the sidelines while he awaits a world title shot.

The 40-year-old Chinese southpaw proved his sixth-round knockout victory over Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-2 (14) in April was no fluke when he flattened the 38-year-old Brit in half the time in their immediate rematch last month.

Those wins came after Zhang’s first career loss, a hotly disputed 12-round unanimous decision loss to IBF number one contender Filip ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic 16-0 (13) in August last year.

The plan was to have Zhang challenge for a world title next, but with WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) and WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) reportedly set to fight in Saudi Arabia in the northern winter, he will have to wait his turn.

And with former world champion Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) and Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) still expected to fight in the new year, Zhang has been left without a dance partner.

Zhang’s co-manager Terry Lane is now exploring other options with the heavyweight big four out of the picture for now.

“I don’t want to divulge too much but it’s possible we could fight in New York or Las Vegas in February,” Lane said in a recent interview on the YouTube channel GFunky Boxing.

“There could be something that happens before that, but again, we’re now at plans B and C now because our Plan A was Usyk or Fury. And now they’re tied up.

“Just to go right into it, we want Joshua and Wilder,” Lane said. “I think those guys are still trying to make that fight. So, if they want to do that, great, whatever. If they want to fight, we’ll fight either of those guys, no problem.”

Beyond Usyk, Fury, Joshua and Wilder, Lane says they will look at matching their hot commodity against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 32-3 (22) or former two-time heavyweight title challenger Luis Ortiz 33-3 (28).

New Zealand’s Parker, 31, has put together back-to-back wins this year following his 11th round knockout loss to Joyce in September 2022. Cuban southpaw Ortiz, 44, is coming off a competitive 12-round unanimous decision loss to former unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr 35-2 (22) in September last year.

Parker is ranked number five by The Ring, while Ortiz has slipped from their rankings. Parker is also ranked in the top 10 by the WBC, WBO and IBF. Ortiz clings to the number 15 position in the IBF rankings.

“Guys like Parker or Ortiz, guys like that,” Lane said. “Again, it’s kind of a placeholder fight but Zhilei wants big names, he doesn’t want easy fights.

“He wants big names, the biggest names possible, to move forward. That’s just him. That’s just his personality.

“He doesn’t want easy wins, layups. He’s a little bit older, as we all know. He doesn’t want stay-busy fights or things like that.”