Parker, Riding High After Wilder Win, Warns Zhang: “I’m a Different Fighter”

Parker, Riding High After Wilder Win, Warns Zhang: “I’m a Different Fighter”

Joseph Parker is still mentally on his victory parade from his win over 38-year-old Deontay Wilder last December. He will use the confidence he gained against WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang on March 8th in their 12-round fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A Difficult Path Ahead

Most fans believe Parker will mentally and physically crumble under the fists of the southpaw Zhang in this fight on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou card.

Parker has already given away his game plan by saying he’s going to hit and run all night, and that doesn’t sound like a winning strategy, but it’s the only thing he can do.

That approach, which is a style that Parker used against journeyman Derek Chisora, will leave him open to getting nailed by Zhang’s heavy shots when he walks in, looking to land.

The movement Parker will use will only drain him, taking away his power and making him a sitting duck for Zhang. If that’s the game plan Parker’s trainer has designed for him, he needs to dump him and get a better coach.

NEWS: Joseph Parker Eyes KO: “I Will Bang the ‘Big Bang'” Zhilei Zhang

Zhang: A Different Beast

The New Zealander Parker lacks the power, chin toughness, and warrior spirit to battle Zhang in the trenches because he’ll get chewed up. The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak with Parker.

“[Deontay] Wilder was a dangerous fighter, but it wasn’t his night. It was my night,” Joseph Parker told Sky Sports News, showing that he’s gained confidence from his win last December against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Parker’s victory against a faded, ring-rusty, and gunshy Wilder was his first against a notable top-tier fighter since his controversial win over Andy Ruiz in 2016. All the other guys Parker has beaten during the last eight years of his career were largely ham & eggers, like Derek Chisora, Hughie Fury, and Junior Fa.

Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) wants to beat Zhang (26-1, 21 KOs) and use the victory to position himself for a fight for one or all of the heavyweight titles. The reality is, it’s a tough hill to climb for the 31-year-old Parker

NEWS: Zhang Promises to Break Parker’s Spirit: “He’ll Question His Life”

“As a younger fighter, you go in there, and you throw hands and combinations, and you go for the kill, and as time goes on, you change,” said Parker.

“If I can put on another good performance, another clinic, and a good win, then I’m right up there.”

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