ZHILEI Zhang is the favourite to face heavyweight champion Tyson Fury this summer.
The Chinese southpaw turned in an impressive and powerful performance to stop leading contender Joe Joyce in six rounds last month. The Brit wants to take up the contractual rematch clause, but it appears Zhang will get a shot at Fury instead.
Both Fury and Joyce are under the Queensberry Promotions umbrella with Top Rank having co-promotional rights to Fury as well.
Speaking to Ringside Reporter Top Rank CEO Bob Arum dismissed speculation that Andy Ruiz is a leading candidate to face ‘The Gypsy King’.
“We’re focusing on the Chinese kid that beat Joyce,” said Arum who then confirmed that the 40-year-old is the “front-runner” to face Fury.
“It’s likely for July. We’re trying to close that out over this weekend,” he added.
The unbeaten Fury, 34, was last out in December with an underwhelming victory against Dereck Chisora, the third time the two had face one another in their careers.
Negotiations for a super-fight against Oleksandr Usyk fell apart earlier this year but speculation places the two against one another in the Middle East this December. In the meantime, Zhang must be dealt with first. If the fight can be signed off then Wembley Stadium is the likely venue for their battle which has staged Fury’s last two fights.