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Zhilei Zhang Wasn’t Too Heavy, Give Parker His Props

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Zhilei Zhang Wasn’t Too Heavy, Give Parker His Props

Zhilei Zhang is a clubhouse favorite, it is acknowledged inside and outside the NYFIGHTS offices.

So it’s not as if everyone here felt destroyed when Joseph Parker had his hand raised in Riyadh last Friday, after going 12 with “Big Bang,” who is helmed by the thoroughly decent Lane brothers. But…

The Banger is 40 years old, his record now stands at 26-2, with the Ls coming from the patient New Zealand pugilist and Filip Hrgovic in ‘22 (I thought ZZ deserved the nod, Hrgovic is and was stiff and unimaginative.)

And he’s proven to be such a solid portrait of a prizefighter, patiently plying his trade, like a gentleman sportsman, while still understanding the aim of the game: knock the other guys’ head off.

Terry Lane Talks Zhilei Zhang

Terry Lane, big bro,  touched base with NYF. We asked his thoughts on the decision, the fight, all of it.

Although Joseph Parker suffered two knockdowns, he dominated his 12 round fight, defeating Zhilei Zhang by decision to win the Interim WBO World Heavyweight Title. Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing. Anthony Joshua

Although Joseph Parker suffered two knockdowns, he got UD12 over Zhang to win the Interim WBO World Heavyweight Title (Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing)

Zhang Zhilei Ran Out of Gas?

“This really this was just a bad style matchup for ZZ,” said the NY based Terry Lane. “Parker executed a perfect game plan. He fought low, crouched, held and used a tricky style to bank rounds. ZZ was never hurt, and other than the last round, he wasn't gassed. ZZ couldn't find his rhythm at all.”

Decent assessment.

Some couch-locked fanalysts went to social wondering aloud if being 291 pounds hampered the lefty who faced Anthony Joshua in the 2012 Olympics, and who’d love another crack.

Nah, Lane told me, that wasn’t a factor. “I think it was more frustration, than anything,” he shared.

Zhilei Zhang, Chinese boxer

Pretty sure Zhang wants a do over on that twelfth round…

The low volume output was one area where a watcher could have seen areas where Zhilei Zhang could’ve pulled ahead, what with Parker being knocked down twice, in separate rounds. “ZZ said he was not gassed, Parker just threw him off, it was a credit to him,” Lane stated. “It was not the weight.”

Right after the decision, Zhilei Zhang told watchers that, “He’s the better tonight…I’ll go back and analyze everything. A true warrior doesn’t go down like this.”

Zhang Zhilei poses postfight with Joseph Parker March 8

I am guessing that ZZ will be that much more focused/dangerous for his next outing, because he was thisclose to being in a real prime spot, a marvelous option for AJ, now at an apex after meshing with trainer Ben Davison.

Guess what? He still is kind of thisclose, is how Lane is taking it, rightly.

Zhilei Zhang stays a favorite in our clubhouse, by the way.

Winning with verve, losing with class, keeping shit in perspective, salute to the adopted fighting pride of Brentwood, NJ, looking forward to watching the bounce-back.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.