Boxing

Asian giant Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei makes the top 10!


Via Ken Hissner: The Asian known for his smaller but active weight today is a giant boxer from China heavyweight Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei has broken the top ten charts!

The undefeated 2008 Olympic Super Heavyweight Silver Medalist Southpaw 6’6” Zhilei, 23-0-1 with 18 saves, is fighting in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Zhilei is looking for a rematch with British former Olympic gold medalist Anthony “AJ” Joshua, to whom he lost while Joshua will go on to win the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles. , is now a former champion.

This writer met Zhilei before turning pro at a New Jersey gym. He turned pro again in August 2014, winning his first six games in the US before returning to China in February 2016, defeating David Koswara, 12-13-2, of Indonesia.

After four more wins in the US, Zhilei will head back to China, posting stops in September 2016 and January 2017 with a stop over Peter “The Chief” Graham, 11-3-1, of Australia for the title of the East was vacated.

Amid those wins in China, Zhilei stopped Galen “Bad Boy” Brown, 44-35-1, in Quincy, Mass. He won four more times in the US before returning to China in September 2018, stopping Don “Mr. JBT” Haynesworth, 15-2-1.

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November 4, 2020; Hollywood, Florida; Portrait session with Zhilei Zhang. Required credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom.

It took more than a year for Zhilei to return to the ring in Monte Carlo, defeating Andriy Rudenko, 32-4, of Ukraine. In 2020, he hit only once, knocking out former Olympic athlete Devin Vargas, 22-6, in November.

In February 2021, Zhilei drew with Jerry “Slugger” Forrest, 26-4, despite scoring three kills. In the next game, Forrest drew with Michael “The Bounty Hunter”, 20-1-1.

Zhilei will have his final game in December, defeating former Golden Gloves national champion Craig Lewis, 14-4-1, at Madison Square Garden, in New York, in two innings.

Zhilei is currently ranked 8th in the WBO and 13th in the IBF, with both titles held by champion Oleksandr Usyk.

There’s the odd case of another former China Amateur champion and as a pro, the WBA Oceania heavyweight champion in the men’s match Junlong “Dragon King” Zhang, 18-0 with 18 stop from Qingdao, China. He only fought in China and from October 2012 to July 2017.

In his ninth match with Zhang, he won the vacant Asia Pacific IBO title, stopping Nico Toriri, 27-16-3, of Indonesia, in May 2014. He stopped Jason “The“ Sensation ” Gavern, April 26-17, American, for the interim World Boxing Union title.

In April 2016, Zhang won the WBA Oceania title, stopping George Arias, 56-15, of Brazil. Later that year, he stopped Brazilian Julio “Gaspar” Cesar Dos Santos, June 28.

In Zhang’s final boxing year in 2017, he made four defenses with saves starting in January against Rogelio “El Pequeno” Omar Rossi, 18-4-1, of Argentina. In March, he stopped Saul Farah, 62-20-3, of Bolivia. In May, he stopped Pedro Otas, 30-3, of Brazil. Then in his final game in July stopped Osborn Machimana, 22-9-2, the South African, who earlier in his career scored a first-round goal against the champions. WBU opponent Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, 42-3.

Another Chinese giant is Taishan “The Great Wall” Dong, 6-0 with three stops, who before boxing was involved in wrestling, kung fu and kickboxing and was born in Lanzhou, China Quoc, then lived in Beijing. He only fought from July 2014 to December 2015 in all 4 rounds in the US.

In the past, Japan’s top heavyweight boxer, Kyotaro Fujimoto, 21-2 with 13 saves from Tokyo, started boxing in December 2011, winning his first five fights before losing to Solomon Haumono, 19- 1-2 for OPBF belt. Two matches later, he won the Japan Championship to stop Uganda’s Okello Peter, 21-6, who was fighting outside of Japan.

Two matches later, Fujimoto defeated Nobuhiro Ishida, 25-9-1 in eight rounds. A year later, he again defeated Ishida by splitting the deciding round. In January 2017, he won the vacant OPBF title by defeating Will Nasio, 10-1, of Australia, over 12 rounds. In December 2019, his career ended when he lost to Daniel Dubois, 13-0 (now 17-1) by knockout, in his only match outside Japan, in London, UK.

Japan’s Nampaw Ryu Ueda, 9-1-1 with five stops, fought from May 2014 to December 2019. After winning the first five matches, he was stopped by Kotatsu Takehara, 12-11-3. After the Korea draw, he stopped South Korea’s undefeated pair Sang Ho Kim, 5-1, and Jong Kook Kim, 3-0.

Two matches later, Ueda avenged his only loss by defeating Takehara, 15-12-3, to claim the vacant Japan Championship in his final match in December 2019. .

As you can see, Zhilei currently 38 years old is the only Asian heavyweight still active and is looking in 2022 to get a world title fight. He is promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.



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