Joyce vs. Zhang – Tonight’s Live Results From London

By Boxing News - 04/15/2023 - Comments

By Mark Eisner: Two-time Olympian Zhilei Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) pulled off a massive upset tonight, stopping previously unbeaten interim WBO heavyweight champion Joe Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) in the sixth round on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.

The fight was halted in the sixth round due to Joyce’s right eye swelling shut from the huge left-hand shots from the hard-hitting Zhang.

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Undercard results

  • Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KOs) returned to her winning ways, defeating her substitute opponent Lucy Wildheart (10-2,4 KOs) by a surprisingly competitive ten-round unanimous decision to capture the vacant WBC interim world lightweight title. The scores were 100-90, 98-91, and 98-92. Boxing News 24 scored it for the 32-year-old Mayor 98-92. She ate a lot of right hands from Sweden’s Wildheart and struggled in the early rounds. In the fight’s second half, Wildheart gassed out and lost what little pop she had on her shots. Mayer took advantage of the drop-off in power by getting the better of her with volume punching. All in all, not a great performance by Mayer, who was coming off a 10-round split decision to Alycia Baumgardner last October. The lack of defense on Mayer’s part tonight was troubling. Based on how Mayer looked, she’s not ready for Katie Taylor.
  • Highly respected heavyweight prospect Moses Itauma (3-0, 2 KOs) got some rounds in tonight, defeating journeyman Kostiantyne Dovbyshchenko (9-13-1, 6 KOs) by a six round points decision. Referee Lee Every scored it 60-54. The 18-year-old southpaw Itauma landed many huge shots in the first three rounds, trying to score a knockout. After the third round, Itauma appeared to take his foot off the gas pedal, not going all out and having fun with Dovbyshchenko.
  • Commonwealth lightweight champion Sam Noakes (11-0, 11 KOs) destroyed previously unbeaten Karthik Sarthis Kumar (10-1, 4 KOs) by a second-round knockout. Noakes dropped Kumar late in the first round after tagging him with a hard right hand to the head. The referee failed to penalize Noakes for hitting Kumar after he was down. In the second, Noakes backed Kumar up against the ropes and knocked him down with a right hand to the head. At that point, the referee waved it off. Kumar looked unhurt, but the referee John Latham had seen enough because the fight was too one-sided. The time of the stoppage was 1:17 of the second round.
  • British middleweight champion Denzel Bentley (18-2-1, 15 KOs) obliterated the hapless Kieran Smith (18-2, 7 KOs) in the first round. Bentley backed Smith up against the ropes and then unloaded with a hard combination that put him down on the canvas, badly hurt. The referee Mark Lyon then halted the contest because Smith was too hurt to continue. The time of the stoppage was 0:45 of the first. Bently was coming off of a twelve-round unanimous decision loss to WBO middleweight champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly last November.

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How to watch Joe Joyce vs. Zhilei Zhang?

Boxing fans catch watch the Joyce vs. Zhang fight on ESPN+ in the U.S. The event begins at 3:00 p.m. ET. The fight will be taking place at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.

Joe Joyce: “Fury said he’d fight me. I thought he was fighting Usyk, which would make more sense, but now Dubois is fighting Usyk. I don’t really know, but this is how boxing works. I can only beat who is in front of me or who I agree to fight or decide to fight.

“I aim to deliver a spectacle and entertainment for the fans. Maybe because he said, I’m the second-best heavyweight. Let’s get the #1 against the #2,” said Joyce when asked if Fury is avoiding him because he realizes how tough of a fight it would be for him. I need to beat Zhang first, so let’s do that.

“After the last fight, he didn’t mention my name there, but maybe that could be a fight at some stage,” said Joyce about fighting Joshua. “Joshua, Fury, Ruiz, and Usyk, they all could fight each other, but it’s so hard to make these kinds of fights. It’s a big risk, but I’m willing to take that risk against Zhang.

“It wasn’t the greatest fight,” said Joyce about his thoughts on Joshua’s last performance against Jermaine Franklin. “I was hoping to see him changed and be a little more aggressive. I remember him hitting him with a good shot, but he didn’t follow it up with anything.

“Yeah, but that’s something he’s going to have to sort out himself because it’s a hard fall from grace because he’s always been the #1 that everyone has always looked up to, but then it all came crashing down, so he’s going to have to rebuild and stuff,” said Joyce.

“I used to laugh because he wasn’t the greatest talker. He couldn’t cut a promo, but I feel like we’ve all gotten behind him. That’s who he is,” said Ade Oladipo on his Youtube channel, speaking about Joyce.

“Not everyone can be Tyson Fury, Conor McGregor, or Deontay Wilder.  That’s who he is, and we now enjoy it. When he gets in the ring, he delivers. You can’t think of many more exciting heavyweights.

When Joe Joyce gets in the ring, he gives you value for money. Whatever you pay for your seat, ‘You know what? I’m going to get my 40 pounds worth or 50 pounds worth or if I’m going to be ringside for a couple of hundred because I know he’s going to deliver.’ He always does.

“I genuinely think that he’s become the boogeyman of the heavyweight division,” Ade said about Joyce. “He’s very much in the mold of Kovalev coming through or Gennadiy Golovkin. He’s now the boogeyman. In Zhang, he’s fighting someone that is happy to meet him head-on.

“Zhang has deceptively fast hands, and throws good combinations.”

Joyce Joyce is in action tonight in a critical fight against Zhilei Zhang in London. The main card begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+. BT Sport will start showing the card in the UK at 2:00 p.m. ET. The event will be staged at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.