Plenty has been written about China’s world heavyweight title hope but not much has been seen of unknown entity Jun-Long Zhang.
The 36 year-old from Qingdao is currently 19-0 with 19 KO’s, a hefty fifteen of which have failed to make it past the second round.
But there’s a problem…
Zhang fights all his bouts in secrecy behind closed doors in his native China and there seems to be a blanket ban on footage being released of the massive puncher.
Looking at Zhang’s record, there are eye-catching early victories over experienced operators, although some of those fights were questioned by a WBA investigation back in 2016.
Despite this, Zhang still holds the WBA Oceania title once in possession of Joseph Parker and most recently ended the challenge of former world cruiserweight champion Victor Ramirez in just 96 seconds.
Apart from a few early bouts, none of Zhang’s opponents scream walkover as the southpaw went on to take them out with minimal fuss, according to those in the arena.
Supervisors have apparently ratified Zhang’s record and it seems Asia could have a new top division star in with the chance of fighting Anthony Joshua for a world title in the coming years.
In May, the World Boxing Council moved to promote Zhang into the Top 40 rankings, leaving the contender possibly just three or four wins away from the Top 15 (and voluntary position for Deontay Wilder) as a return to action draws nearer in 2018.
More will become apparent once authorities in China allow TV clips (apart from one unfinished YouTube video) to be shown to outside promoters and broadcasters, whilst taking on those fighters in and around the ratings is a must for Zhang’s progress.
Ranked number one in his native country above 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zhang Zhilei (now 18-0, 14 KO’s), this new-found success comes on the back of the apparent retirement of Taishan Dong.
Standing 7ft tall and tipped for the top under the promotional banner of Golden Boy, Taishan left boxing under a cloud despite an undefeated record.
Dong left the sport at 6-0, 3 KO’s after struggling to live up to the hype of being the tallest heavyweight in the world.
Fans expected early knockouts every fight, but when Dong began going the distance with journeyman, the ‘Man Mountain’ decided to move on.