Joseph Parker vs Zhilei Zhang Betting Odds and Prediction

By Boxing

Joseph Parker vs Zhilei Zhang Preview March 8th, 2024 

Zhilei Zhang ‘s WBO Interim World Heavyweight Title is on the line in Saudi Arabia this Friday, March 8th when he takes on on former WBO Heavyweight King Joseph Parker of New Zealand in a 12-round battle. The fight can be seen live on pay-per-view in most nations including DAZN and in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office. Zhang took the interim belt when he stopped Joe Joyce in the sixth round last April and halted Joyce in the third round in their rematch five months later Joyce had won the WBO Interim Title in September, 2022 by stopping Parker in the 11th round in a highly-entertaining fight. Parker bounced back from that loss with four straight wins including a 12-round unanimous decision over former WBC Champion Deontay Wilder in December to win the vacant WBC International Heavyweight title and to defend the WBO Inter-Continental Belt.

Parker vs Zhang Betting Odds

Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook (full review here).

  • Joseph Parker +190
  • Zhilei Zhang -240

My Pick

The 32-year-old Parker, who is now based in England, enters the bout with a mark of 34-3 with 23 Ko’s. He won the regular WBO title in December, 2016 by beating Andy Ruiz Jr. by majority decision but lost it via unanimous decision to Anthony Joshua in March, 2018 in a unification bout. His second defeat was a controversial 12-round unanimous decision to Dillian Whyte in August, 2018 for the vacant WBO International and the WBC Silver Heavyweight Titles and his third and last loss was to Joe Joyce in September, 2022 when he was stopped in the 11th round of a slugfest for the vacant interim WBO Crown.

Parker has good power in his punches as 67.6 per cent of his wins have come by stoppage but has gone the distance in 10 of his last 16 fights with all three of his losses coming in his last 13 outings. Earlier in his career, Parker’s power was his strong point but he’s had to depend on his underrated boxing skills and hand speed more often in the past few years. He went the distance five times in a row from 2016 to 2018 against Whyte, Joshua, Hughie Fury, Razvan Cojanu and Ruiz before stopping Alexander Flores, Alex Leapai and Shawndell Winters all in a row between December, 2018 and February, 2020.

Since then, he’s beaten Junior Fa and Dereck Chisora (twice) by decisions before falling to Joyce and rebounding with a points win over Jack Massey, a first-round stoppage of Faiga Opelu, a third-round win over Simon Kean and the decision over Wilder. Parker needs to be able to fight the full three minutes of every round if he’s forced to. He landed several bombs against Joyce but was worn down and out of gas when stopped with just five minutes to go in the fight. Parker won the WBO Oriental Heavyweight Championship by stopping Brian Minto in seven rounds in 2014 and has won several other regional heavyweight titles including the WBO Oriental Title and the OPBF Crown.

He also has wins over Alexander Dimitrenko, Carlos Takam, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Kali Meehan, Bowie Tupou, Jason Pettaway, Frans Botha and Sherman Williams. Parker turned pro in 2005 after an excellent amateur career and has 238 rounds under his belt since. He also has decent size for a modern-day heavyweight at 6-feet-4-inches with a 76-inch reach. Parker’s not the most athletic and mobile boxer in the ring though and generally has trouble against fleet-footed and mobile opponents.

He also leaves himself open for counter shots but doesn’t mind taking one or two punches to land one of his own. His chin has been pretty reliable so far after being tested quite often even though he was halted by Joyce. Parker needs to instill a killer instinct as he staggered Joyce on several occasions and waited far too long to go after Dillian Whyte as he virtually had him out on his feet just as the bell rang and paid the price for not letting his hands go earlier.

The southpaw Zhang is now 40 years old and has a fine mark of 26-1-1 with 20 Ko’s with his controversial 12-round unanimous decision loss to Filip Hrgovic in 2022 being his only pro defeat. His record is built on power as 81 per cent of his wins have been by stoppage including his last five. He’s boxed just 93 rounds since turning pro in 2014 and has gone 10 rounds twice and 12 rounds just once. The first time he went the distance was in November, 2019 when he beat Andriy Rudenko by unanimous decision to retain his WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title which he won back in 2017 with a first-round stoppage of Peter Graham.

He fought to a 10-round draw with Jerry Forrest in February, 2021 after dropping Forrest in each of the first three rounds and then having a point deducted for holding in the ninth round. Zhang completely ran out of gas in that fight and seemed to be out on his feet several times from pure exhaustion but managed to see the final bell. He went 12 rounds with Hrgovic and lost 115-112, 115-12 and 114-113 on the judges’ scorecards.

Zhang measures 6-feet-6-inches with an 80-inch wingspan for a two-inch edge in height on parker and a four-inch reach advantage. His list of opponents so far include the likes of Wilder, Hrgovic, Scott Alexander, Rudenko, Forrest, Devin Vargas, Byron Polley, Curtis Harper, Mark Brown Galen Brown, Curtis Harper and Don Haynesworth. Even at his age, Zhang is now making a name for himself around the world as a pro due to his power and he also enjoyed quite a fine amateur career.

Zhang, who now fights out of New Jersey, won a silver medal for China as a super heavyweight at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as a bronze medal at the world amateur championships in 2007 and 2009. He was beaten in the amateurs by Grzegorz Kielsa, Odlanier Solis, Vyacheslav Glazkov, Roberto Cammarelle and Anthony Joshua but had a win over Parker.


This is going to be an interesting match as we’ll see how Parker adapts to Zhang’s style after completely neutralizing Deontay Wilder’s power in his last outing. Parker has good overall boxing skills but he lost to Zhang in the amateurs. That was just over three rounds though and Zhang sometimes has stamina problems these days. He has great power but appears to tire later on in bouts. He got off to a great start against Joyce the first time around with accurate, punishing shots, but either took his foot off the gas or run out of it as the fight went on. Joyce was reportedly ahead by a point at the time of the stoppage on one of the judge’s scorecards while the other two judges had Zhang up by just a point. Joyce landed 85 of 469 punches thrown in that fight while Zhang connected on 82 of 180. Joyce also threw at least 100 punches in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, Zhang’s left hand and right hook took care of business early in the second fight however. I think Zhang needs to catch Parker early here or this fight will go the same way that Parker vs Wilder did, with Parker pulling off a bit of an upset.

Parker’s experience will be the difference.

Play Parker +190 @

Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.

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