It was interesting to read last week that 2008 Olympic silver medallist Zhang Zhilei was heading to America to continue his professional boxing career with Dynasty Boxing. The promotion company run by Dino Duva, son of Hall of Fame trainer/manager Lou Duva and Tommy and Terry Lane sons of former Hall of Fame referee Mills Lane.
Zhang will be a massive television attraction and stated on arrival in the USA that he grew up watching broadcasts of fights featuring the great Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield and the Klitschko brothers.
Standing at 1.98cm the 31 year old Super Heavyweight has his eyes on a World title belt and claimed he had headed to the USA because the training was superior to that on offer in his native China.
Zhang was stopped by the Italian Roberto Cammarelle in the gold medal bout at the 2008 Olympics and lost in the quarter finals in London in 2012 to Britain’s Anthony Joshua. He has won two bronze medals at the World Championships.
Not surprisingly Duva is talking up his new boxer and has claimed he is the future in the heavyweight division.
Although unlikely to get a crack at a World title for a while his timing could not be better as in February Xiong Zhao Zhong, China’s first and only world titleholder, was knocked out in the fifth round by unheralded Oswaldo Novoa of Mexico and lost his straw weight title. Chinese boxing fans will be hoping Zhang can deliver a second title at the other end of the weight divisions.