Zhang Zhilei vs. Bernardo Marquez
Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, New York City, USA 27/11/21
Undefeated heavyweight Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (22-0-1, 17 KOs) is set to face Bernardo “El Tarzan” Marquez (14-4-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday, November 27th at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City. Marquez, a southpaw from Southern California, is riding a six-fight winning streak. The ten-round bout will be streamed live on DAZN as part of the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos show presented by Matchroom Boxing. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.
Zhang is coming off the most peculiar and scary bout of his career. In February, he faced Jerry Forrest (26-4-1, 20 KOs) in Miami. Forrest had never been knocked down as a professional and was dropped three times, once in each of the first three rounds by the former Chinese Olympian’s powerful blows. In the fourth round, Zhang began to noticeably slow down, and struggled to stand up through the last half of the bout, allowing Forrest to catch up on the scorecards and achieve a draw. After the bout, Zhang’s condition continued to deteriorate and he needed assistance to return to the locker room, where he nearly collapsed. Paramedics rushed to his aid, and Zhang was taken to the hospital via ambulance.
After a series of tests, doctors determined that Zhang was severely dehydrated to the point of kidney failure. He remained in the hospital for three days where he received treatment and observation before being released. “It was frightening,” Says Zhang. “My organs were shutting down during the fight. I didn’t know what was happening.”
Immediately after returning home, Zhang continued to consult with doctors, nutritionists, and athletic specialists. “I have completely changed my diet, my strength and conditioning training, and I focus greatly on how much water I drink every day. I feel stronger than ever and I can’t wait to get back into the ring.”
After fully recovering from the medical complications that took place during the Forrest bout, Zhang ran into unexpected delays that kept him out of the ring. He was originally supposed to fight in June underneath the same main event that he finds himself under now (Lopez vs. Kambosos) – until that fight was KO’d due to Lopez contracting COVID-19. That bout continued to get rescheduled over and over again, and in a series of twists and turns now lands at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
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