Filip Hrgović has beaten China’s Zhang Zhilei on points in the IBF final eliminator tonight at The Jewel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to earn a fight for a world title.
Tonight’s victory means Hrgović is now set to fight the winner of Usyk-Joshua for a world title.
The Croatian, who weighed in 15 kgs lighter than his opponent, was knocked down by a right hook in the opening round but quickly got to his feet.
Hrgović got more aggressive and his punches got heavier, but Zhang was connecting with more blows and in the 6th round he would rock the Croatian again. Hrgović would find his rhythm again and begin to dominate more in the later rounds as Zhang began to tire.
The two heavyweights went back and forth for the full 12 rounds with the Croatian finishing the stronger of the two and the judges would rule unanimously in his favour.
Hrgović, who dedicated tonight’s fight to his late father who passed away recently, fighting with his name on the back of his trunks, is now 15-0 with 12 KOs.
The Croatian reportedly earned around $350,000 for tonight’s fight.
As an amateur, Hrgović won bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics, all in the super-heavyweight division.