On Saturday, November 30th, Roc Nation Sports’ Chinese heavyweight star Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (21-0, 16 KOs) dominated tough veteran contender Andriy Rudenko (32-5, 20 KOs) of Ukraine in a 10 round bout at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco. Zhilei has now skyrocketed to the top of the heavyweight division, beating Rudenko by way of unanimous decision. The score was 99-91, 98-92, 97-93.
“Being away from the ring for 14 months, I really enjoyed how I felt during the fight,” said Zhilei. “I like such an opponent that could bring the real challenge. He can really take a punch and is hell of a fighter. I dream to face opponents like this, I want to challenge the strongest.”
With this win, “Big Bang” has exploded back onto the heavyweight scene, placing him amongst the biggest names in the division. Zhilei now expects to be ranked among the best Heavyweight contenders and will look to take on more to contenders in order to realize his dream of fighting for the world, heavyweight championship. Zhilei and his team expect 2020 to be a monumental and historic year for the Chinese heavyweight.
“It was wonderful seeing ‘Big Bang’ Zhilei’s return to the ring,” said Roc Nation Sports boxing promoter Dino Duva.
“He proved to the world that he deserves to be in the mix for a heavyweight title shot in 2020. Quite frankly, he showed a little ring rust, but he hasn’t fought in 14 months. He has dealt with a lot of obstacles over the past 2 years, mostly due to unfairly being held up on his U.S. visa. Not many fighters would have taken an opponent the caliber of Rudenko after being off for so long, but that’s what he wanted, and I commend him for that.
"He had Rudenko, who has a granite head, hurt a few times, and it would have been great to see him get a knockout, but it was good for him to get the rounds in. Also, Zhilei’s trainer, Shaun George, is doing a great job with him. His next fight will be against a world rated contender in early 2020. If he keeps working hard to get into tip-top shape, the sky’s the limit for him and my prediction is he will fight for the Heavyweight Championship in 2020.
"I sincerely thank Eddie Hearn, Frank Smith and the entire Matchroom Boxing team for this opportunity and look forward to working together with them to continue ‘Big Bang’s’ historic journey.”