Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker odds, betting trends, predictions, expert picks for 2024 boxing fight

The potentially thunderous collision between Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker is main event worthy, but the pair will duke it out on the action-packed undercard of the Joshua vs. Ngannou fight at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on March 8. The 12-round bout, plus undercard action, will be broadcast live on DAZN in the U.S.

Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) came to prominence as an elite player when he smashed British hope Joe Joyce to defeat twice last year. The first bout ended in round six when Joyce succumbed to eye damage, but “The Juggernaut” crashed and burned in the rematch when the Chinese colossus knocked him cold in the third.

Parker (34-3, 23 KOs) is coming off arguably the finest win of his career to date. In December, the amiable New Zealander overcame the odds to dominate former heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder en route to a unanimous decision win. Despite having once held the WBO title, this was a career-defining victory for Parker and ample proof that he remains a threat to anyone in the division.

The Sporting News provides the odds and offers a prediction for this crossroads battle of top heavyweight contenders:

WATCH: Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, live on DAZN

Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker betting odds

Per BetMGM, Zhang is the -220 favourite while Parker is the +170 underdog. The draw is -2000.

Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker trends

There are currently no betting trends for this fight. The Sporting News will update this section as and when the information becomes available:

  • Zhang via KO/TKO/Tech. Dec/DQ: N/A
  • Zhang via decision: N/A
  • Parker via KO/TKO/Tech. Dec/ DQ: N/A
  • Parker via decision: N/A

Zhilei Zhang vs. Joseph Parker prediction, best bets

The best wins of Zhang’s career were the back-to-back stoppage triumphs over Joyce. That’s not even open for debate. Meanwhile, Parker was stopped by Joyce in September 2022 and absorbed a great deal of punishment. On that basis, we should simply pick Zhang to beat Parker, right? Wrong!

It’s cliché, but styles make fights.

Joyce is a suffocating pressure fighter who has always been easy to find. The Olympic silver medallist got to the point where he was bragging about being able to absorb clean hits. It just so happens that Zhang was the first fighter to nail him with punches (specifically the straight left) that he didn’t see coming. Those are the ones that hurt the most.

Parker is a strategic boxer-puncher who can follow a game plan. We saw that against Wilder, who didn’t land a single right hand of consequence in the entire fight. The American’s best weapon was completely neutralised by Parker, who controlled distance and continually made Wilder reset his feet.

For this fight, expect Parker to follow a similar strategy. Zhang is more well-rounded than Wilder, but he’s far from unbeatable and I think he’ll struggle with his opponent’s athleticism and ring IQ.

Only Joyce has managed to stop Parker and, according to CompuBox, he had to hit him over 300 times to secure an 11th-round stoppage. At 40 years of age, Zhang doesn’t have that kind of output and I doubt he can get this job done with a single punch.

I like Parker in a big way in this fight.

Sporting News prediction: Parker UD 12 (Per BetMGM +170)

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