Joe Joyce says he wants to face Zhilei Zhang again
By Charles Brun: British heavyweight Joe Joyce has revealed that he’s met with his promoters, the Warrens, and he wants to avenge his sixth round stoppage loss to Zhilei Zhang from earlier this month on April 15th.
The previously unbeaten Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) lost his WBO interim title and his mandatory slot to challenge IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in his loss to the big 6’6″ Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs).
Unfortunately, Joyce has too much pride for his own good and can’t admit that the better man beat him.
With Joyce turning 38 in September, he doesn’t have the youth on his side to go in a different direction and slowly work his way back to another mandatory position with one of the other belts in the division.
As such, Joyce appears to be heading toward rematching Zhang and, of course, putting his career on the line with that fight. It’s not an appealing move for Joyce.
Zhang is a bigger, faster, and more powerful version of Joyce. Everything that Joyce can do, Zhang does better, and his defense & ring IQ is also superior.
The only thing Joyce has on his side is his conditioning, which will not help if his right eye swells up again from the left hand that Zhang nails him with. Joyce will likely try and take Zhang’s left hand away from him by moving in a different direction inside the ring, but he’s going to get hit regardless because Zhilei is too intelligent for him, and he’s seen it all.
Whatever tricks Joyce uses, Zhang has seen before during his amateur days as a two-time Olympian. Zhang was arguably robbed in the 2012 London Olympics when he fought Anthony Joshua and was pounding him like a drum, showing fans that AJ wasn’t the fighter they thought he was.
“We had a meeting with the Warrens, so there will be some news coming out soon,” said Joe Joyce to Sky Sports about his next fight.
“It would be good to avenge that [fight against Zhang]. It was very frustrating, but one I’d like to avenge. Hopefully, we’ll do it again. There are plenty of options; it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
If Joyce is okay with fighting into his 40s, he should avoid the rematch with Zhang and head towards safer pastures by going after the IBF belt because he would only need to worry about Filip Hrgovic and Andy Ruiz.
“It’s something I’d like to avenge, get back in the driving seat, and move onto bigger and better fights. There are still different options, and I will get there eventually,” said Joyce.
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