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Zhang Zhilei thinks Tyson Fury can not cope with his power

Now that he has overcome Joe Joyce, Zhang Zhilei would appreciate the chance to shock another heavyweight who is undefeated and is promoted by Frank Warren's business.

A fight against WBC champion Tyson Fury, who is anticipated to return to the ring this summer, would be welcomed by the newly crowned WBO interim champion. Before China's Zhilei halted Fury in the sixth round at Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night due to serious swelling around his right eye, Warren and Bob Arum, his co-promoter, had discussed Joyce as a potential opponent for Fury.

“Let’s do that,” Zhilei said through a translator when asked about facing Fury during a post-fight interview with IFL TV. “If my team says that, let’s do that. I can go either way.”

The 6-foot-6, 278-pound Zhilei predicted he would knock out Fury if given the opportunity.

“Tyson Fury doesn’t have that chin,” Zhilei said. “He will go down.”

Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) isn't the only opponent Zhilei (25-1-1, 20 KOs) gets to choose from, but he might have a commitment to fulfil under a contract. He had a rematch clause in his contract for the fight with Londoner Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs), whose team risked Joyce's status as one of Oleksandr Usyk's obligatory challengers by selecting the 13th-ranked Zhilei for an optional defence of his WBO title.

According to the terms of their contracts, the rematch does not have to happen immediately away, but in the end, Joyce will decide whether he wants to face Zhilei straight away. Joyce would run the danger of Zhilei losing and never getting the rematch he is entitled to if he were to fight Fury or someone else.

By defeating Joyce, Zhilei, the Olympic silver medallist from 2008, took Joyce's place as the WBO's required challenger for Usyk's WBO belt.

According to the rotational system established by the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO, Ukraine's Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) would be required first to make a mandatory defence of his WBA title against London's Daniel Dubois. If Usyk were to defeat Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs), who has the secondary WBA title, he would next have to face Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs), the obligatory challenger for the IBF, before Zhilei's time as the WBO's mandatory challenger.

Zhilei, who turns 40 on May 2, understands that defeating the 6-foot-6, 256-pound Joyce totally transformed his life.

“This is the beginning,” Zhilei said. “I’m going for the title.”


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