Zhilei Zhang vs Filip Hrgovic Preview August 20th, 2022
Two unbeaten heavyweight hopefuls will be battling it out in an IBF eliminator on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua fight this Saturday, August 20th as Zhilei Zhang of China meets Filip Hrgovic of Croatia. Zhang last fought in May when he stopped Scott Alexander in the first round. Hrgovic last saw action in December when he halted Emir Ahmatovic in the third round. The fight from Saudi Arabia can be seen on DAZN pay per view in most nations while Sky Sports Box office will broadcast it in the UK and Ireland.
Zhang vs Hrgovic Betting Odds
- Zhilei Zhang +600
- Filip Hrgovic -1000
The southpaw Zhang is already 39 years old but has a near-perfect mark of 24-0-1 with 19 Ko’s. This impressive record was built on his power as he owns a current knockout ratio of 75 per cent. He’s boxed just 72 rounds since turning pro in 2014 and has gone 10 rounds just twice. The first time came in November, 2019 when he beat Andriy Rudenko by unanimous decision to retain his WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title. Zhang won that belt back in 2017 with a first-round stoppage of Peter Graham.
He then 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.
Zhang stands 6-feet-6-inches with an unlisted reach and his list of opponents so far include the likes of Alexander, Rudenko, Forrest, Devin Vargas, Byron Polley, Curtis Harper, Mark Brown Galen Brown, Curtis Harper and Don Haynesworth. Zhang isn’t really that well known around the world as a pro but enjoyed quite a fine amateur career.
He won a silver medal 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 beat had a win over Joseph Parker.
The 30-year-old Hrgovic enters the ring with a perfect mark of 14-0 with 12 Ko’s. He’s one of the new bigger breed of heavyweights as he also stands 6-feet-6-inches and unfortunately also has an unlisted reach. He’s got impressive power in his fists as well with a current knockout ratio of 85.7 per cent but hasn’t taken on a legitimate contender as of yet as his wins have been against the likes of Marko Radonjic, Rydell Booker, Pavel Sour, Tom Little, Sean Turner, Amir Mansour, Kevin Johnson, Gregory Corbin and Eric Molina.
The only two opponents top go the distance with him so far have been Johnson over eight rounds in 2018 and Turner over eight rounds in the same year. Hrgovic turned pro in 2017 and has boxed just 49 rounds since with all 12 of his knockouts coming within the first five rounds. He stopped Mansour in the third round in 2018 to take the vacant WBC International Heavyweight Title and defended it three times. He then won the IBF International belt against Booker and has defended it twice.
Hrgovic enjoyed a fine amateur career and won a bronze medal as a super heavyweight at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also reached the quarterfinals at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Amateur Championships and won the 2010 Youth World Championships as well as the 2015 European Championships. In addition, Hrgovic went 25-4 with 10 Ko’s in the World Series of Boxing from 2010 to 2015.
Both guys are basically bangers who aren’t interested in what the judges have to say as they prefer to end things before going to the scorecards. Zhang’s advanced age won’t work in his favour though and the longer this fight goes the better it’ll be for Hrgovic. Zhang needs to use his power to end proceedings as soon as he can or he could be in for a hard day’s night. If he doesn’t rock Hrgovic early I’m expecting Hrgovic to take this fight but this is still a tossup because both boxers have tremendous power.
Hrgovic’s chances increase greatly the longer the fight goes.
Play: Zhang -1000 @ BetOnline.ag
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