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Undefeated Chinese giant challenges Anthony Joshua before potential Tyson Fury mega-fight

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Anthony Joshua has been called out by Zhang Zhilei

Anthony Joshua is eyeing up a fight against Tyson Fury after his Oleksandr Usyk rematch but Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei could be a potential opponent.

Anthony Joshua is facing another stern test in his quest to unify the heavyweight division, with undefeated Chinese boxer Zhang Zhilei calling out the Brit insisting he wants to fight him in Beijing in 2022.

Zhilei stands at a mammoth 6ft 6in and has a current undefeated record of 23-0-0.

Zhang Zhilei

Having recently defeated American Craig Lewis within six minutes on the undercard of George Kambosos’ win over Teofimo Lopez, he is keen to seek revenge on Joshua following their previous contest.

Joshua defeated Zhang in their amateur days as he waltzed towards a gold medal with victory over the him in the quarter-finals at the 2012 Olympics in London.

As reported by FightMag, the 38-year-old would relish any chance to face off against the 32-year-old again.

“The venue is there, the Bird’s Nest holds 100,000, so we have it all. Beijing and Shanghai are the biggest cities, very economically developed and boxing in China is growing.

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“The sports fans there like boxing, they like AJ, so if we can make it happen it would be huge for boxing.”

With plans already being drawn up for the rematch between Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk later next year, the heavyweight division hots up once again given the ongoing current conflict between both Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte.

But with Zhang also part of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing – the same promoter Joshua has – a battle between the two may be targeted at some point.

Joshua remains keen on an all-British bout against Fury but will have to win back his belts from Usyk first.

-MEN

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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