Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang: This Is the Rematch That Was Almost a Year in the Making

Written by: Frank Monkhouse
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read
  • Filip Hrgovic boasts an 86% knockout average
  • Zhilei Zhang remains unbeaten in 26 fights
  • This is a non-title bout scheduled for 12 rounds

The new boxing season explodes to life on Saturday at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia, where Oleksandr Uysk defends his title world heavyweight championship belts against the challenge of former champion Anthony Joshua. This is the rematch that was almost a year in the making, and fans can’t wait to see if it’ll be a repeat or revenge in Usyk v Joshua II, a bout you can watch live on Sky Sports.

AJ’s attempt to win back the belts and become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world is the main attraction in Jeddah this weekend, of course, but it’s not the only bout of note taking place on the card. All the hype surrounds this top-of-the-bill brawl, and it’s understandable that’s where betting traders focus most of their attention. But there’s a gem on the undercard, a bout that caught our attention and one we’ll focus on in this preview.

Filip Hrgovic is the big-punching Croatian heavyweight ranked number one in his homeland but a lowly 37th in the world. He is seen as a potential future challenger to the winner of the night’s main bout but must take his chance to win on the undercard and catch the eye, impressing fans and promoters. Will he get the desired result and fast-track his career, driving him towards that title shot? The odds below show bookies believe so.

Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang Odds

Winner Caesars Sportsbook Odds
Filip Hrgovic -1000
Draw +1600
Zhilei Zhang +650

The table above shows just how confident the market is about victory for Hrgovic with traders unwilling to offer backers of the Croatian any encouragement. The odds make it pointless backing the favourite to add another win to his already impressive CV, meaning we are pushed into the special markets. Thankfully, there’s plenty there to catch our eye.

The odds shown in the above table cover the fight winner betting with prices correct at the time of publishing. Boxing odds are subject to change, and it’s worth keeping that in when betting. The odds quoted may have changed in the time between us writing the article and you reading it. Check your favourite betting app for the latest information.

There’s unlikely to be too much change in this market, and there’s nothing to get excited about unless you are prepared to take a shot at the underdog. It’s more likely you’ll be backing the favourite, and we have found a better way to do that.

Filip Hrgovic Vs Zhilei Zhang Predictions Odds

Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang Pick

Hrgovic in rounds 1-4 (+275) at Caesars Sportsbook

The betting makes this a case of how Hrgovic wins rather than if he wins, and that’s where the special markets come in. The method of victory betting is the most popular of the specials as it gives bettors a crack at nice odds if they can predict both the winning fighter and how they’ll achieve the result, on points or by KO/TKO.

Hrgovic by stoppage is deemed as the most likely outcome here, and even that market has negative odds, which we can’t blame the traders for. Yes, we’d like bettor-friendly odds on every selection we back, but the bookies aren’t in the habit of giving away free money, so they can’t take on an opponent like Filip and his destructive knockout powder. So, our search continues and takes us to the round group betting.

If you do play the specials, such as method of victory and round group betting, the more research you do into a fighter, the more chance you’ll have of making a strong prediction and eventually a profit. You can be sure the trading teams working at the industry’s biggest names are up to speed on the form, odds and trends, so you must be too.

Looking through the recent form of the favourite, we know he’s a fighter with bundles of power and an aggressive, come-forward style. But pay closer attention to the stats and note he has won each of his last two bouts in round three, with his seven most recent outings earning him victory in the opening half of the contest.

Looking to push the boat out even further and go for a memorable bet at great odds? Three of Filip’s last five bouts have ended by knockout in round three, and more of the same will be popular in the betting. Take a chance on a third-round stoppage at +800 on the Caesars Sportsbook.

Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang Prediction

Does Zhilei Zhang have a chance at upsetting the odds and winning in Saudi Arabia? Of course he does, just not a very big chance, according to the odds. But the Chinese-born fighter, now based in New Jersey, US, is better than the betting gives him credit. He brings a 24-0-01 unbeaten record, with the only slight blot on his copybook coming in the form of a majority decision draw against Jarry Forrest last year.

Big Bang has boxed twice since that level finish in Miami Gardens, making a quick-fire return to winning ways when scoring a second-round stoppage win over Craig Lewis in New York before blowing Scott Alexander away inside a round last time out. He is a confident fighter and no slouch in the power department, meaning we could see this one evolve into a shoot-out between two big hitters.

Like his opponent, Zhang is a fighter who we don’t know much about in terms of his fitness and ability to go the 12-round championship distance due to his power. His last two have failed to last to the end of round two, with February 2021 the last time he did ten rounds. That means we’re unlikely to see a show of boxing skills here. Instead, it will be a fan-friendly slugfest, and, for that reason, this won’t test the judges.

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How to Watch Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang

Fight Filip Hrgovic vs Zhilei Zhang
Promoter Matchroom Sports
Location Jeddah Superdome, Saudi Arabia
Date and Time Sunday 20th August, 22:00 GMT
How to watch Live on Sky Sports

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Frank Monkhouse

Boxing Betting Analyst

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Former professional boxer at the world-famous TRAD TKO Gym in London, I am now a full-time freelance content writer, pundit, and podcast contributor working with some of the biggest names in the sports betting industry. I love boxing, football's most successful team Glasgow Rangers, and horse racing.
Nationality: British
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