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Zhilei Zhang Warns Fury to Prepare for Usyk, Reflects on Ngannou Bout




Heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the upcoming clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on February 17 in Saudi Arabia. The highly anticipated bout will determine the undisputed heavyweight champion, with the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO, and WBC world titles at stake.


As the WBO's mandatory challenger to the Fury-Usyk winner, Zhang is closely monitoring the preparations of both fighters. While he refrains from making a definitive prediction, Zhang emphasizes the importance of proper preparation, particularly citing Fury's recent struggles in a boxing match against MMA veteran Francis Ngannou. Despite securing a split decision win after being knocked down in the third round, Fury's performance raised concerns for Zhang.

"I don’t know [who will win Fury-Usyk], anything can happen, and my experience in the business tells me that until you hear the opening bell, anything is possible. If someone feels like they are not themselves, then they could call the fight off. I’m unsure if it happens," Zhang commented.

Reflecting on Fury's bout with Ngannou, Zhang sees it as a crucial wake-up call for the champion. He warns that Fury must train diligently and focus on his preparations to avoid being in trouble against Usyk. Despite his cautionary tone, Zhang remains uncertain about the outcome, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of boxing.


Currently, Zhang leans towards Usyk as the potential victor, citing his belief that skills and dedication are essential in boxing. With his recent successes, including back-to-back stoppage victories over Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce of the UK, Zhang is eager to secure his shot at the world title and is closely following developments in the heavyweight division.

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