IBF #3 heavyweight Filip “El Animal” Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) meets undefeated #15 Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) in a final eliminator for the IBF title on the August 20 Usyk-Joshua undercard in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Hrgovic-Zhang was originally planned for the undercard of Alvarez-Bivol in May but they are now set to do battle on the Red Sea.
Usually final eliminators involve the top-rated fighters in a division. To find an opponent for Hrgovic, however, IBF went down the rankings and got ‘no’ after ‘no’ until they got all the way down to the #15 ranked Zhang, 39, before a fight could be made.
Filip Hrgovic: “I respect a fighter like Zhilei Zhang, especially as there were plenty of others who could have fought me and didn’t. The respect stays outside the ring, and it’ll be business as usual for me when I step in there and look to do what I do best; put people away…there’ll be no doubt about this when Zhang is dealt with and I go on to beat whoever it is out of Usyk or Joshua.”