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Usyk vs AJ 2: Filip Hrgovic claims unanimous resolution win over Zhilei Zhang in thrilling IBF heavyweight eliminator | Boxing Information

Filip Hrgovic thrust himself into world title competition as he claimed a beneficiant unanimous resolution victory over Zhilei Zhang of their IBF heavyweight eliminator on Saturday. 

The 30-year-old survived a first-round knockdown in addition to a number of scares in opposition to the 2008 Olympic silver-medallist in what proved a peculiar contest that consisted of a slippery canvas, a conflict of heads and stoppage alternatives on which neither man might fairly capitalise.

With the win Hrgovic prolonged his unbeaten report to 15-0 (12 KOs) as one of many self-proclaimed ‘most prevented’ heavyweights within the division, whereas the end result marked the primary defeat of 39-year-old Zhang’s profession.

It was Zhang who put himself within the ascendency with a first-round knockdown after catching an off-balance Hrgovic with a right-hand that clipped the again of his opponent’s head.

Filip Hrgovic, Zhilei Zhang

Hrgovic responded positively within the second and commenced to showcase his personal energy when he landed two clear proper arms to Zhang’s chin, however to no avail.

The Croatian emerged for the third with blood trickling down his physique after an unintentional conflict of heads, not helped by extra punishment by Zhang together with one other fierce left to push his man up in opposition to the ropes.

Energy was matched by precision within the fourth as Zhang nailed an uppercut inside a slick mixture, earlier than he threatened to cease it two rounds later with a dominant interval that had Hrgovic wobbling within the nook.

It was Hrgovic’s flip to let unfastened with a thumping proper to Zhang’s chin, however once more the veteran seemed undeterred and managed to hit again as nonetheless the extra dangerous-looking of the 2.

What had began as an enthralling contest fell right into a messy patch as conditioning turned an element and each males sought to protect power the place attainable within the closing levels.

All of a sudden Zhang erupted into life time and again seemed near stopping Hrgovic within the ninth solely to look to expire of steam on the very important second.

He then took a weird fall, not dominated a knockdown, within the eleventh partly attributable to a powerful spell from Hrgovic but additionally a watery-canvas that had troubled all through the second half of the combat.

By the closing bell it felt a tough matchup to name, however it was Hrgovic who discovered himself on the beneficial facet of the judges’ playing cards to come back by means of the hardest check of his skilled profession by a substantial distance.

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