ZAGREB, 4 May 2022 – Croatian heavyweight boxer Filip Hrgović was set to fight China’s Zhang Zhilei in the IBF final eliminator this weekend but has withdrawn from the fight.
Hrgović and Zhilei was set to be the co-feature on the Canelo Alvarez versus Dmitry Bivol card on May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas but after the death of his father, Pero, last month, the Croatian has withdrawn.
“Unfortunately Hrgović’s father passed away and he’s very close to him and he hasn’t been able to get his head on this fight,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Pro Boxing Fans after arriving in Las Vegas.
American Scott Alexander is set to replace Hrgović on Saturday night.
The IBF final eliminator fight has been illusive for Hrgović. The Croatian initially challenged Tony Yoka, Luis Ortiz and Kiwi Joseph Parker but they all turned him down before Zhilei agreed.
According to the IBF’s rules, Hrgović, who is 14-0 with 12 KOs, will get a chance to fight Zhilei at a later date if Zhieli defeats Alexander.
The winner of the fight will become the IBF’s mandatory challenger for its unbeaten heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk.