Zhilei Zhang on Joe Joyce: “I’m going to London to blow up a tank”
By Brian Webber: Zhilei Zhang says he’s coming to London to toss bombs at interim WBO heavyweight champion Joe Joyce on April 15th at the Copper Box Arena.
Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) recognized the two-time Chinese Olympian Zhang’s talent after he was given a raw deal in his controversial 12 round unanimous decision loss to Filip Hrgovic last August in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce is giving Zhang 24-1-1, 19 KO) the opportunity to put himself into a world title fight against the winner of the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight.
This was pure class on Joyce’s part in giving Zhang a chance to fight him because many fighters would have taken an easy opponent while waiting for their title shot, but not Joe.
If the 6’6″ Zhang can defeat Joyce, he’ll be ready to face the last man standing in the Fury-Usyk undisputed championship fight.
In a public relations meeting today, Zhang met with Joyce at the Ismael Salas gym in Las Vegas for a face-off and to exchange a few words for helping build hype for their fight next month.
“I’m going to London to blow up a tank,” said Zhilei Zhang to iFL TV about his intention to score a knockout of interim WBO heavyweight champion Joe Joyce on April 15th.
“I believe that I’ll get ahead here with all the work I’m doing, and I’ll knock him out,” said Joyce. “I think it’s going to be a great fight. It’s got a great story, and it’s building really well.
“I can’t wait to get the gloves on, get in the ring, and stare him down, and then the bell rings, and you see some action. I thought it was a good performance. It was a close decision, and I thought he could have got the nod on the night.
“I thought I’d give him this opportunity, and I think it’ll be a great fight,” said Joyce when asked about his opinion of Zhang’s last contest against Filip Hrgovic. “He’s got a great story. I faced Hrgovic before, and there’s no better fight out there right now.”
“I don’t care about fast or slow. I’m here to throw a bomb,” said Zhang when asked about his thoughts on people saying that Joyce has ‘slow hand speed.’
“I think it’s going to be hard fight with plenty of bombs exchanged from the both of us, but I think the ‘Juggernaut’ is going to march on through,” said Joyce.
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