Zhilei Zhang foresees a bad night for Joseph Parker on March 8th, with the former WBO heavyweight champion questioning himself, wondering what he’s doing in the ring with him, being mentally shattered in their fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

WBO interim champion Zhang (26-1, 21 KOs) intends to reflect physical punishment on Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) to take the victory and put himself in a strong position to face the big names, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Oleksandr Usyk,

Parker has a lot of boxing fans buying into the belief that he’ll defeat Zhang due to his recent win over Deontay Wilder. They feel that Parker made great strides with his trainer, Andy Lee.

It’s expected that Parker will use a hit-and-run approach to the fight to keep Zhang from having a stationary target for him to land his heavy shots. When Zhang does get close, Parker will dive in and tie him up to stifle his offense.

Zhang Dismisses Parker’s Advantages

“I will make him question himself, and question his life. He’ll probably think, ‘Where I am and who I am and what am I doing?’” said Zhilei Zhang to The Lowdown on what Joseph Parker will ask himself when they fight next month on March 8th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Joe Joyce broke Parker mentally by using constant pressure, walking through his shots, and hitting him with powerful punches until he stopped him in the 11th round in September 2022.

More than anything, Parker looked like he mentally quit in that fight. Joyce essentially broke Parker with his pressure, and one gets the sense if they fought again, the same thing would happen. Joyce has Parker’s number.

“It’s true, he is younger. He’s fast, he’s young and he’s hungry. Is that a threat to me? I don’t think so,” said Zhang, reacting to Parker saying that he’s too young and fast for him.

“I feel against Joshua, Fury, Usyk, and Ngannou, I feel very confident against any one of them going into that fight. It’s a 60-40 fight towards me or a 70-30 fight towards me, and I think I can give everybody a big problem.”

The way that Zhang is fighting now, he’d have an excellent chance of beating Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, and Francis Ngannou. Joshua and Fury both look faded and barely hanging on at this stage of their careers.

Ngannou is just a novice, and the only reason he looked good in his fight with Fury is because Tyson isn’t the same fighter he once was at 35. Usyk should have been stopped in his last fight against Daniel Dubois, so he’s no longer in his prime, either.

Analyzing Parker’s Loss to Joyce

“When you look at the first couple of rounds, Joseph Parker did land a couple of shots on Joe Joyce, but those shots did barely anything or no damage to Joe Joyce. On the other side, Joe Joyce kept coming, kept coming, and kept going forward,” said Zhang, reflecting on Parker’s 11th-round knockout loss to Joyce in 2022.

“So with that lasting a few rounds, you start to question yourself, you start to get a little nervous and a little scared. Then, at the end of the fight, you’re facing a physically stronger opponent and a mentally stronger opponent, and it’s easy to get frustrated, and we saw what we saw. Yes, I still believe that was the case,” said Zhang about Parker getting scared during his fight with Joyce.

Parker looked very scared against Joyce and appeared timid after taking some big shots from the early rounds. The fact that Joyce kept coming seemed to unnerve Parker, causing him to scurry away, seeming almost mouse-like, being chased by a big, hungry cat the entire contest.

You could tell from watching that Joyce enjoyed this fight. He was playing with his food the way a cat does with a mouse.

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