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By Murray Greig, Chinadaily.com.cn

Chinese slugger moving closer to shot at world heavyweight crown

Zhang Zhilei is tantalizingly close to making boxing history.

China’s 2008 Olympic silver medalist has scored five KOs in as many fights in 2017. If he keeps winning, the southpaw slugger from Zhoukou, Henan province, will go from pretender to contender – and could become the first Chinese to challenge for a piece of the fragmented world heavyweight championship.

Now 18-0 with 14 KOs, Zhang captured the WBO Oriental crown in January and is ranked No 8 in the world by the global sanctioning organization.

On Saturday in Guangzhou, he’s scheduled for a 10-rounder against former European Boxing Union title challenger Herve Hubeaux of Belgium (28-2, 14 KOs).

The co-main event on the five-bout card in the gymnasium at the Asian Games complex will see Wang Zhimin of Wuhan, Hubei province (9-2), square off against Anthony Sabalde of the Philippines (12-6) for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council lightweight title.

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