As BoxingScene.com previously reported, Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) will collide with China’s undefeated Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) in an IBF final eliminator.
The bout will land as part of the undercard to the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua – who battle for the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight straps on August 20th in Saudi Arabia.
Hrgovic is ranked number three under the IBF, with several other fighters passing on the opportunity to face him in a final eliminator.
The 30-year-old Olympic bronze medalist is aiming to topple Zhang and then move forward to the winner of Usyk vs. Joshua.
“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,” said Hrgovic.
“There’s a huge amount at stake in this fight. I’m a fighter who belongs at the top of this division, and 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.”
He continued,” I’m entering my prime, and now is the perfect time to be putting myself up against the top fighters in this division. I will become the heavyweight champion of the world.”
Zhang, due to his age of 39, needs a win to stay in the mix with the elite names.
He also has power in both hands and expects his toughest outing to date in facing Hrgovic.
“I’m looking forward to August 20,” said Zhang. “My team and I have been grinding every hour of every day for this fight. Hrgovic is going to be the toughest opponent in my professional career. A victory will secure me the IBF mandatory challenger position, which is why this fight is so important to me. I will be in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”