Hrgovic-Zhang added to Usyk-Joshua card

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.”

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  • Zhang could be dangerous, a big heavyweight and has heavy hands. He is though big and slow, like Joyce, but more predictable and more vulnerable to getting hurt. Interesting test for Hrgovic.

    • I agree. I like Zhang but I think this will be an easy win for Hrg. They were originally supposed to fight in May.

  • really thought the Forrest fight would take something out of him but has done well to get 2 KO’s since. Think youth prevails here though, but hopefully it’s a good test for El Animal (didn’t know he has Mexican in him 🙂 ?)

    • Read Zhang had some illness or condition in the Forrest fight. Also like him, a quite humble person. Hope he is good and healthy again and gives a good showing.

  • this is more interesting than the main event ,should be a good fight.

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