Heavyweight contenders ponder battle as champions remain out of reach
After his latest victory, heavyweight sensation Filip Hrgović could get matched with Chinese puncher Zhang Zhilei.
On Saturday night, Hrgovic pushed to 14-0 with a twelfth career stoppage to continue his impressive undefeated run.
Hrgovic improved his chances of a world title shot at the world-famous MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on DAZN.
The Croatian marched on with a three-round beatdown of the previously undefeated Emir Ahmatovic. Ahmatovic’s record dropped to 10-1, 7 KOs with the loss.
‘El Animal’ had the Serbian-born German down twice in the second round before finishing the fight in the next session. In the process, he defended his IBF International heavyweight strap and remains on course for an IBF world title final eliminator next year.
“From the opening bell, I knew he wasn’t on my level,” said Hrgović. “It was a matter of time before he was going down.
“I took my time. I didn’t rush. He went down twice in the second round. By the third round, I knew he was finished.
“This is why I want big fights. Then you will see my true potential.”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland said: “That was another great performance from Filip. Credit to Ahmatovic, he came to fight, but ultimately, he was outclassed.
“The search is now on for an opponent to face Filip in an IBF world title final eliminator early next year. Zhilei Zhang’s name has been mentioned.
“That is a fight we like and one we would be confident of winning.”
Zhang and Hrgovic are amongst a crop of challengers ready to punch on an opportunity to face world champions Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. However, they face a long wait due to mandatories and rematches backing up.
Therefore, the bunch has to battle each other for the privilege in the meantime. Hrgovic vs. Zhang is undoubtedly a solid match-up to make.
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