Zhilei Zhang, the WBO Interim Heavyweight Champion, has gone after a former opponent, saying that he has done unlawful techniques in the past and has been given an unfair advantage.
After taking out the supposedly unbeatable Joe Joyce twice in 2023, Zhang established himself as a real threat to every fighter in the rankings and earned the British fighter’s mandatory challenger spot for a chance at world titles.
The only person to defeat Zhang in the professional ranks, Filip Hrgovic, will be waiting to face either Anthony Joshua or the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant title at the IBF, the next sanctioning body to designate their mandatory. It will be his turn to wait.
“Big Bang” Zhang described his loss to the Croatian in an interview with Fight Hype, calling it a gift. He also mentioned a cunning move he thinks “El Animal” has used consistently throughout his career.
Upon reviewing Hrgovic’s resume, it is evident that he was given a win by the referee when he defeated me to earn the mandatory challenger title. Since then, he has fought in two low-key bouts to keep himself active out of fear of losing that position.
“He engaged in a twelve-round fight with Australian Demsey McKean, and he repeatedly struck him in the back of the head.”
Zhang reiterated his assertions, saying that despite their contentious altercation, the two men are still in love.
Since Hrgvoic hits his opponent in the back of the head in every fight and round, I can officially refer to him as a professional head-puncher right now.
“Yeah, he did knock Mark De Mori out, but that’s just what he does—he also keeps hitting him in the back of the head.”
In the next twelve to eighteen months, Zhang plans to challenge for a world title, and he has offered to fight on the undercard of Fury vs Usyk.