Zhilei Zhang: Tyson Fury Needs ‘Trustworthy Sparring Partners'
Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang sat down with us at Gambling.com to discuss the upcoming bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Betting sites have Fury down as the narrow favourite, but a recent cut during sparring could have a detrimental impact on the Brit's chances.
The original date for the fight was scheduled to be on February 17, but has since been postponed until May 18, while Fury continues his recovery.
Zhang Believes Usyk Could Target The Cut
When asked how much of an impact the cut could have on the bearing of the result, Zhang said: "It’s hard to say. Every fighter is different with how long cuts take to heal.
"It really depends on the person. But I do think Fury has enough time to heal and find sparring.
"If I were him, I would be very careful to find trustworthy and understanding sparring partners."
Fury is no stranger to cuts, as the 35-year-old had to battle through a terrible cut he sustained during victory over Otto Wallin back in 2019.
Fury went on to claim victory via a unanimous decision that night, but has time to recover before getting back in the ring on this occasion.
Touching on how big of a factor laceration may be, Zhang stated: "The cut could factor into the fight, especially if it’s an older cut that has opened. It’s possible it could open again.
"Usyk could target the eye, but he would also have to expect that Fury would have a strategy to protect the eye or have a strategy to use Usyk’s aggression towards the eye against him. The cut does present an interesting element."
Preparation For Parker Well Underway
Zhang has a fight of his own to focus on. The Chinese heavyweight will square off against Joseph Parker, on March 8, in the co-feature to Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Like Fury, Zhang is the odds-on favourite with boxing betting sites to get the better of his New Zealand opponent.
But after defeating Deontay Wilder, the 40-year-old acknowledges that it will not be an easy day at the office.
When we asked Zhang how his camp was going so far, he said: "Camp has been going very well for me. I feel strong, and I’m working hard with my trainer, Shaun George, on a game plan.
"I am confident in a victory, but I’ll keep specific predictions to myself for now, but I believe I am going to put on a show.
"I’m very excited to fight in Saudi Arabia. His Excellency, Turki Alalshikh, has a big vision and he is a man who is executing that vision for the benefit of boxing fans worldwide."
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