WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang believes he can knock out Joseph Parker early this Friday in their 12-round co-feature bout on the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou card on DAZN PPV at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,

Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) doesn’t sound worried about the former champion Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) despite his recent upset win over former WBC champion Deontay Wilder last December. That victory has many boxing fans believing he’ll do the thing to Zhang or worse.

After his second knockout win over Joe Joyce, Zhang is radiating confidence coming into his title defense against Parker because he knows what he sees in him and feels that this is a can’t-miss victory. If Zhang wins, he’ll strengthen his position to get a title shot.

Zhang’s Philosophy

“I only do tough fights. In order to be a tough man, you have to beat the tough man. It’s the inevitable path to the championship,” said Zhilei Zhang to Queensberry. “I’m still on a mission. I have nothing but appreciation for all the fans around the world and in China. They motivate me. I’m carrying their wish on my shoulder.

“I think me and him don’t do trash talk,” said Zhang about Joseph Parker. “Every previous opponent has told the media and the fans that they’re going to finish me, they’re going to knock me out, and they’re going to end my career. It’s vice versa,” said Zhang.

It’s difficult to say if this is a step up or a step down for Zhang from his previous two fights against Joe Joyce. Parker is a different type of fighter than Joyce, and he’ll have to chase him around the ring because the 31-year-old New Zealander has learned his lesson after trying to slug with Joyce and paying the heavy price,

Gates of Hell Metaphor

“I believe we do our talking with our fists. I’m in the training camp of hell. I believe the gates of hell will open and big bang will come with the fire from hell and it’ll burn the opponent [Parker]. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It won’t talk. It’ll only prove,” said Zhang when asked what his fists would say on Friday night against Parker.

“The fight is doing to finish faster. Yeah, possibly,” said Zhang when asked if he believes he can knockout Parker early.

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