Zhang Zhilei (张志磊) was born on May 2nd, 1983, in Qianzhangying (前张营) Village, Shicao (石槽) Township – Shenqiu (沈丘) County – situated near the Zhoukou (周口) City area of (Eastern) Henan province, PRC.
Village = ‘Advanced ‘Zhang’ Clan Encampment (Barracks)’ (前张营 – Qian Zhang Ying)
Town = ‘Stone Trough’ (石槽 – Shi Cao)
His record currently stands at 27 fights – 1 loss – 1 draw – 25 wins by KO
Alias = Big Bang Zhang
In 1995, Zhang Zhilei, who had just turned 13, was selected by Li Guofeng (李国峰) – the Sports Coach of Shenqiu County – to become a Professional Rower.
In 1998, Zhang Zhilei – who was 6 foot 4.5 inches tall and weighed 18.9 stone – left the Rowing Team and transferred to the Boxing Team controlled by the Henan Provincial Heavy Contact Sports Centre. He started Professional Boxing training under the guidance of the Provincial Team Coach – Gu Jinqing (谷锦清).
There are many Amateur Boxers who have transitioned from Olympic Medallists into Professional Boxing – but Zhang Zhilei is the first Chinese Boxer who has dared to break into the upper echelons of Western-dominated Professional Heavyweight Boxing! Zhang Zhilei has the potential to become a World Champion – and he firmly believes that he will surprise the world despite his advanced age! Zhang Zhilei has a good record in Amateur Boxing as a Super Heavyweight Boxer. With a height of 6 foot 6 inches and 19.7 stones – Zhang Zhilei has achieved an outstanding coordination as an awkward South Paw (rightside forward) – with a good, accurate and fast (right) jab and an equally fast and powerful (reverse) straight-left punch!
His punching combinations are fast, fluid, well-timed and accurate – whilst his evasive upper body movement and lower body footwork is both precise and compact! He skilfully makes the opponent miss whilst always staying in range to counter continuously. His fast (combination) hitting is reminiscent of that seen within advanced Chinese gongfu practice – particularly when Zhang Zhilei initiates exchanges! I suspect that somewhere in his training background lies the Internal Martial Arts of China! As he progresses through the ranks, he stoically faces the racist disdain he encounters in the West – and lets his ability and ever-growing tally of victories speak for themselves! Indeed, although 39 years old at the writing of this article – this might work for him in a sport that is usually merciless in its treatment of older competitors! Chinese martial tradition and culture possesses an entirely different approach to interpreting the ageing process!
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