Zhang Zhilei: I’ll Put On a Good Show, My Aim is The World Title

It will be Olympian vs. Olympian on Saturday when former silver medalist Zhang Zhilei (21-0, 16 KOs) returns to the ring against Devin Vargas (22-6, 9 KOs) on the Devin Haney vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa undercard at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The entire card will be streamed live on DAZN.

Zhang was a two-time Olympian for China who became a national hero when he won the silver medal at the Beijing games in 2008. He was narrowly defeated by Anthony Joshua in the London games in 2012. Zhang is seeing his first action of 2020, having last fought in November of 2019, a win over Andriy Rudenko (32-5) in Monaco.

Vargas last fought in January 2020, defeating Victor Bisbal (23-5) at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.

“This fight is very important to me,” said Zhang. “My aim is for the world title, but I am not overlooking Vargas. He is a veteran and has been in the ring with some of the best. The pandemic has affected everyone in boxing, but my team and Ihave worked hard for months to get to this point. I will put on a good show this Saturday!”

In addition to being streamed live on DAZN, Zhang vs. Vargas will also be televised in the People’s Republic of China on CCTV5, the nation’s central sports channel which is accessible to nearly all 1.4 billion people in China. In Zhang’s homeland, the bout will be delayed only by a few hours and shown midday on Sunday November 8th.

“A very large TV audience will see this fight in China,” said Zhang’s co-advisor Kurt Li. “It will appear on a long-standing weekly boxing show, and we expect viewership to increase this weekend due to Zhilei’s growing popularity. The Chinese public is starting to pay attention to boxing more, largely due to Zhang’s success.”

The DAZN livestream, which includes Zhang vs. Vargas, Haney vs. Gamboa and several other bouts, begins on DAZN at 8PM Eastern time.