19 September 2020

Anthony Joshua’s amateur rival Zhang Zhilei signs promotional contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing

Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei, who lost to Anthony Joshua at the 2012 Olympic Games, has signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

Joshua beat Zhang 15-11 in the quarter-finals of his home Games eight years ago before going on to take the gold medal in the super-heavyweight category.

But since turning professional in 2014, Zhang, 37, has maintained a perfect record by winning all 21 of his fights.

Zhang is undefeated since turning over from amateur to professional (PA)

And he now believes signing with Hearn will give him the chance he needs to establish himself as one of the best in the division.

"I'm very happy to enter into an agreement with Matchroom. They are one of the best promoters in the world," he told the Matchroom Boxing website.

"I'm the best heavyweight coming out of China. I just need an opportunity to become the best in the world, which I strongly believe that Matchroom is able to provide.

"With each of us focused on our part, I wish a happy and successful future together."

 "The heavyweight scene couldn't be any hotter right now, so this is the perfect time for Zhilei to get back into action and throw his name into the mix.

"Zhilei is ready to take on all-comers and as he aims for his 22nd win in November, the next step for 'Big Bang' then will be to face his fellow top-class contenders and get in position for a world title shot."

Zhang has not fought since beating Andriy Rudenko in Monte Carlo in November of last year.

He is expected to return in the United States towards the end of 2020 as he begins his Matchroom journey.

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