Nicknamed "Big Bang," Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KO) secured the interim WBO title in the previous year, showcasing his prowess with consecutive knockouts against Joe Joyce. The first victory featured a grotesque swelling, while the second was a one-hitter quitter five months later. These wins have positioned Zhang for a shot at the full title currently held by Oleksandr Usyk. However, with the unified champion expected to be occupied throughout 2024 with Tyson Fury, Zhang will instead take on the former WBO titleholder, Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KO).
Parker, eight years younger than his counterpart, has been on an impressive four-fight winning streak since his encounter with "The Juggernaut." His successful 2023 campaign included a decision win over the unexpectedly resilient Jack Massey, dominant victories over Faiga Opelu and Simon Kean, and a convincing triumph over Deontay Wilder last month. The victor of this monumental showdown will closely trail the future undisputed heavyweight champion in the upper echelons of the top heavyweight rankings.