On April 16, Zhilei Zhang secured a stunning victory over Joe Joyce, the British WBO interim heavyweight champion, in a fierce battle that went all the way to the sixth round.
Joyce, a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics, had yet to taste defeat in his professional career, making Zhang’s victory even more impressive.
Both fighters displayed remarkable resilience and determination throughout the fight despite taking punishing blows.
Zhang, a former amateur standout who’d previously won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in the super-heavyweight division, proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division.
Zhang’s impressive record includes notable wins over Don Haynesworth, Daniel Martz, and Devin Vargas, with 19 of his 22 victories coming by knockout.
In his most high-profile fight to date, a showdown with veteran heavyweight contender Jerry Forrest in November 2020, Zhang was knocked down early but rallied to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Boxing fans can look forward to seeing more from this underdog fighter as he continues his professional career.