The first Zhilei Zhani vs. Joe Joyce fight had a profound impact in China, making Zhang Zhilei an overnight superstar in his homeland.
Overnight Superstar: Zhang Zhilei's knockout victory over Joe Joyce at London's Copper Box Arena in April catapulted him to stardom in China. Millions of people in China watched the fight, which took place in the early hours of the morning due to the time difference.
Patience Pays Off: Zhang, who hails from China's Henan Province but now trains in the United States, had patiently worked his way up the heavyweight rankings. The fight with Joyce provided him with a platform to showcase his skills against a high-profile opponent.
Record Crowd and TV Audience: The Zhang-Joyce bout drew a record crowd of 5,600 spectators at the Copper Box Arena and attracted a massive television audience in China. Approximately 50-60 million people watched the fight and highlights on TV and social media, with over 300 million mentions related to the fight on Chinese social media.
Potential for Greater Interest: Zhang's rematch with Joyce at Wembley Arena is expected to generate even more interest in China. Despite the early morning timing, there's hope for increased viewership. Zhang aims to prove that his victory over Joyce was not a fluke and hopes to face the top heavyweight champions.
Inspiring Future Fighters: Zhang believes that his success in boxing can inspire a new generation of Chinese fighters to pursue the sport. He notes that boxing's popularity is growing in China, with many young people paying attention to it and joining boxing gyms.
Chinese Power: Zhang Zhilei proudly exclaimed "Chinese power" after his victory, symbolizing his desire to represent China on the international boxing stage. He hopes that boxing in China will become as popular as table tennis and believes that the sport embodies strength and character.
Zhang Zhilei's journey in the world of boxing has not only made him a national hero in China but also ignited a passion for the sport among young Chinese athletes. His success and determination continue to inspire future generations of fighters.