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Oleksandr Usyk predicts Joe Joyce will lose to Zhilei Zhang in rematch without changes

Image: Oleksandr Usyk predicts Joe Joyce will lose to Zhilei Zhang in rematch without changes

By Charles Brun: Oleksandr Usyk predicts another defeat for British heavyweight Joe Joyce in his rematch with the heavy hitter ‘Big Bang’ Zhilei Zhang unless he makes changes to his fighting style next month on September 23rd at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Zhang vs. Joyce rematch will b shown live on ESPN+.

IBF, IBO, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Usyk admits that he doesn’t care about the Zhang-Joyce 2 fight, but he feels that the southpaw Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) will score a similar stoppage against Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) if the 2016 Olympian doesn’t adapt.

Usyk didn’t make any suggestions about what Joyce can do differently, as he’s glacially slow of hand, and he’s going to get picked apart by the left hand leads that the quicker, more powerful Zhang will be throwing all night.

The way that Zhang took apart Joyce last April was similar to how southpaw Corrie Sanders stopped a prime Wladimir Klitschko in 2003.

Joyce putting his career on the line

Zhang hurt Joyce in the first two rounds, put him on the run, and chased him around the ring, landing left hands at will. By the sixth round, Joyce’s right eye had closed up, forcing the referee to step in to stop the contest.

Oleksandr Usyk: “If Joe Joyce doesn’t change anything in his style, the result will be the same in the rematch,” said Oleksandr Usyk to The Lowdown about Joyce’s rematch with Zhilei Zhang on September 23rd.

“No, probably from the second round; I could see Joe wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t adjust to deal with Zhang. Probably, let them fight, and we’ll see who’s the winner,” Usyk said when asked if Joyce can win the rematch. “I don’t care about it.”

It’s foolish for Joyce to have chosen to take an immediate rematch without getting at least one tune-up in between against another big southpaw like Otto Wallin or Demsey Mckean to build up his self-confidence.

The 37-year-old Joyce will put his career on the line on September 23rd because if he loses to the 40-year-old Zhang a second time, it’s game over for him.

Joyce will be too old to work his way back to a mandatory position, and none of the champions will pick him out for a voluntary defense. Joyce isn’t popular enough to be given a title shot without becoming mandatory.

Alex Krassyuk: “From the second round, I already realized that Joe doesn’t feel very comfortable, and he cannot adjust himself to fight Zhilei Zhang,” said Usyk’s manager Krassyuk about Joyce.

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