Zhang Zhilei: “Hrgović Is No Boogeyman”

Undefeated heavyweight Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (23-0-1, 18 KOs) is looking for big fights in 2022. Zhang, who is coming off of a second-round knockout of Craig Lewis, is world-ranked in both the IBF and WBO and wants to fight a top heavyweight so that he can earn a title shot.

The division is opening up after a flurry of recent activity at the end of 2021. With its mandatory contender position vacant, the International Boxing Federation is trying to set up a final eliminator. Contenders Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker, both of whom are fresh off big wins, ducked their chance to fight #3 ranked Filip Hrgović (14-0, 12 KOs). of Croatia. The IBF will continue to go down its rankings in order until one of the contenders agrees to fight Hrigović.

Zhang vows that if asked, he would take on the Croatian in a battle of 6’6’’ big men.

“I don’t understand why top heavyweights are turnin this down.” Said the former Olympic silver medal winner. “Hrgovic is no boogeyman. I’ve made it known that if my name comes up, I’ll step up and take it.”

And if a showdown with Hrigovic does not materialize, the 38 year-old Zhang is ready for any of the big names.

“I’m not getting any younger, and I have told my promoter that I want to make a big move,” Said Zhang, listing off of top heavyweights such as Joseph Parker and Dereck Chisora – all of whom share the same promoter, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom.

“My ultimate goal is to become world champion and I need fights that put me on that path. I will fight anyone. I want a big opportunity and all I am asking for is fair compensation. I am ready now.”


Zhang Zhilei is a Chinese undefeated professional boxer who competes in the heavyweight division. As an amateur, he earned a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games as a super heavyweight. He now competes at the highest levels of professional heavyweight prize fighting. He currently lives and trains in the New York City metropolitan area.

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