‘Riyadh Season’ just gets better for heavyweight boxing with ANOTHER terrific heavyweight fight added to that upcoming Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou card.
AJ (27-3) will face the former UFC heavyweight king in Saudi Arabia on March 8 as he looks to claim a fourth consecutive victory AND remain in pole position to face the winner of those Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk unification battles.
And now we have the news that former WBO heavyweight king Joseph Parker (34-3) will lock horns with fearsome Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1) in a mouthwatering showdown co-main event.
Parker vs Zhang confirmed for March 8
Parker vs Zhang features two fighters on the rise in a big way, with both having strong claims to being top-five heavyweights right now on the back of terrific recent victories.
Joseph produced a career-best performance on that recent ‘Day of Reckoning’ card in Saudi Arabia by easily outpointing Deontay Wilder to scupper a planned March matchup between AJ and ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
Zhang meanwhile has really boosted his reputation in the last 18 months, dropping a controversial decision to the fearsome Croat Filip Hrgovic before notching brilliant back-to-back wins over the previously unbeaten British star Joe Joyce.
The news that Parker vs Zhang will be the co-main was revealed first by Mike Coppinger of ESPN on Monday afternoon, in the countdown to an official press conference to announce the Joshua vs Ngannou bill.
‘Riyadh Season’ of course is finally making a reality the fights heavyweight fans have craved for years. We had Fury facing Ngannou back in October before that incredible ‘Day of Reckoning’ bill featuring Joshua and Wilder last month.
Next up we get the unification showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on February 17, with that bout set to crown the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
Then on March 8 we get Joshua vs Ngannou, now with the added carrot of that tantalising Parker vs Zhang showdown included. Great times indeed…