Tommy Lane, the manager of heavyweight contender Zhang Zhilei, says his boxer is ready to fight the best boxers out there - after coming close to derailing undefeated puncher Filip Hrgovic last month in Saudi Arabia.
As part of the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua undercard, Zhilei lost a very close twelve round decision to Hrgovic in their IBF final eliminator.
Lane indicates that Zhang would be ready and willing to rekindle an amateur rivalry by facing Joshua next.
Joshua is looking to bounce back after suffering back-to-back decision losses to Usyk.
"Zhang just beat Hrgovic who many top contenders have avoided and flat turned down. We know Zhang didn’t get his hand raised, but Zhang won that fight. Also, Hrgovic took a beating and needs some time to recover. Zhang went back to the hotel after the fight, Hrgovic went to the hospital," Lane told Vegas Insider.
"AJ and Zhang are on the same schedule. They fought last on the same night. Zhang didn’t get hurt during his fight, he’s already back in the gym and will be fresh and ready to go if AJ want’s it. Zhang and Joshua also have history and unfinished business from the amateurs, when they fought in the 2012 Olympics. Zhang has all of China behind him, and AJ is still one of the main faces of professional boxing. Joshua v Zhang is by far the biggest fight out of the other options Eddie Hearn has publicly mentioned."
Joshua is currently in serious talks to fight WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in December.
However, Lane has some doubts about that contest actually coming off.
He feels Fury could be using the discussions with Joshua as a negotiating tactic for a possible undisputed fight with Usyk.
"I’m not sure if Fury vs Joshua gets made. I think Joshua wants it, but you never know what Fury’s intentions or plans are. This might be a negotiation tactic with Usyk, or someone else. Only Fury knows. I don’t think Joshua beats Fury, but it’s another shot at the heavyweight championship for a ton of money, so I don’t think you can say it’s the wrong fight for AJ. But if that fight falls through we're ready, willing, and able to come to London to fight Joshua when he's ready. Given their styles, AJ v Zhang would promise to be an explosive fight for the fans," Lane said.