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Friday, May 20, 2022
Home Sports BOXING Zhang Zhilei accepts IBF eliminator against Filip Hrgovic

Zhang Zhilei accepts IBF eliminator against Filip Hrgovic


The Filip Hrgovic IBF Eliminator Saga may finally be over. Dan Rafael reports that 13th-ranked Zhang Zhilei has accepted the call to face “El Animal” for a shot at the heavyweight title after 12th-ranked Demsey McKean declined.

For those counting at home, that makes for a final total of four contenders that declined due to injury, three that had prior commitments, and two that just straight-up passed.

The 38-year-old “Big Bang” Zhang (23-0-1, 18 KO) simply has not parlayed his Olympic success into a rise through the pro ranks; consistently weak opposition has left him in a holding pattern since his 214 debut. His biggest fight to date was also his most disastrous, as he suffered what was basically a full-body shutdown in a draw with Jerry Forrest last year.

It’s now or never for the 2008 silver medalist, and Hrgovic (11-0, 9 KO) is unquestionably his only path to a title within the foreseeable future. A whole lot of things had to go wrong to make this possible, but he’ll get his chance.





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