Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew would love to see some of the top heavyweight names step in the ring with Chinese contender Zhilei Zhang.

Last weekend, Zhang secured a brutal one-punch knockout of Joe Joyce in the third round.

Because of Zhang's recent back to back wins over Joyce, Bellew expects a lot of top fighters to look for easier opportunities.

Prior to those wins, Zhang lost a close decision to Filip Hrgovic - but many observers, including Bellew, felt he had done enough to win.

“He’s dangerous isn’t he? No one is going to want to touch him with a barge pole… listen, the likes of Usyk will just go, ‘What do I want him for? I’m not touching him, it doesn’t do anything for me.' Now, this will be a little bit of a Catch-22 position because he should be an undefeated fighter. I thought he’d beat Filip Hrgovic, I really do, I like Hrgovic he’s a good fighter but I thought he lost to Zhang but he just didn’t get it," Bellew explained to Talk Sport.

“Now, if Zhang was an undefeated fighter, it’s a more attractive opposition to the other heavyweights out there because they’d be like, ‘I want to put a dent in him and be the first to beat him’. Because he’s now got a loss on his record, even though it’s not a proper loss, fighters will go, ‘Well listen if I beat him, everyone will say it’s because I’m supposed to, Hrgovic has already beaten him’. So he’s not an attractive option.

Zhang would like to get in the ring with WBC world champion Tyson Fury.

Fury is back in action on October 28, when he steps in the ring with former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in a non-title fight in Saudi Arabia.

Bellew would confidently back Fury to defeat Zhang - but he's not as confident in Fury's willingness to take such a risky fight.

“I think Tyson Fury would beat him hands down, I think Fury beats almost everyone in the world barring Usyk. I just think Fury is so good but at the same time, there’s nothing to win by facing Zhang. He’s not a world champion, he’s not undefeated and he’s super dangerous," Bellew said.

“He can wallop with either hand. It’s just not someone you take on, I’m talking from a boxing business perspective, I’m not talking as a boxing fan. As a boxing fan, a great fight would be Zhang against [Anthony] Joshua, that would be brilliant.”