By Brian Webber: Promoter Frank Warren says Joe Joyce might want to retire after his third round knockout defeat to WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang last Saturday night.
Joyce has already said that he’s not going to retire and will keep fighting on. It’s going to be difficult for him to come back from this loss, as his ranking will obviously drop from the #7 WBO spot that he’s currently ranked. He’s not ranked by the other three sanctioning bodies.
The ideal fight for Joyce would be a rematch with Daniel Dubois or Joseph Parker, but those guys probably won’t want to tangle with him after being stopped.
Options for Joyce:
Andy Ruiz Jr
Warren states that if the 38-year-old Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) does continue with his career, he has a couple of domestic fights for him.
He doesn’t say, but the money that Joyce will get fighting domestic-level opposition likely won’t be the same as he’s been enjoying fighting Zhang for their two fights and Joseph Parker.
Joyce heading toward domestic fights
“There’s a couple of domestic fights if he chooses to fight. He might want to retire. I don’t know. Whatever he does, he does,” said Frank Warren to Boxing News about Joe Joyce following his loss to Zhilei Zhang last Saturday.
“In the meantime, Zhang, we’ll be looking to get him out as soon as possible. Queensberry promotes him.”
According to Sportskeeda, Joe Joyce’s net worth is $4 million. Eddie Hearn was right with him, saying that Joyce has made good money during his six-year pro career. If can fight often and get a few solid wins under his belt, he could be in the thick of things in no time.
“There is no trainer out there [that could change Joe Joyce’s fighting style]. You couldn’t even bring Emanuel Steward back who’s going to change what you see with Joe Joyce? That style is his style,” said Ade Oladipo, reacting to Joe Joyce’s loss last Saturday night to Zhilei Zhang.
It’s impossible to turn Joyce into a boxer because his hand speed isn’t good enough. His style is the straight-ahead George Foreman-esque approach, and that’s the only one that’s going to work for him.
“So maybe you just stick with Ismael Salas, but I’m not having the retirement talk. I think I saw Paul Smith say, ‘Maybe you should call it a day because you can’t take a punch anymore.’ He can. Zhang just hits harder than most people who walk this earth,” said Ade.
Joe needs to be rebuilt
“He can take a punch still. So maybe you just have a look, and you build him up again,” Ade said. “There will be some that are like, ‘Why did they take the rematch?’ I’m in that camp. From what I saw in the first fight, I couldn’t see a way he could win the second fight.”
Fighting as often as possible is the key to Joyce being rebuilt, but the problem with that is there are only so many dates for him to fight. It’s not like he can fight every weekend.
“If there was a world title on the line, I understand why you take the rematch because you want to try and get your belts back,” said Ade. “There wasn’t a world title on the line. Yes, maybe there was a mandatory spot or a world eliminator spot, but there wasn’t a world title.
“So maybe there’ll be people that are asked those questions, but yeah, I don’t know, I’m not sure.
“You can’t take that kind of punishment in the heavyweight division, and it not catch up to you. I’m sorry. You can’t. In the lighter divisions, it catches up to everyone. I’ve been watching a sport long enough. People that take that kind of punishment, eventually it catches up to you.
“The head is not supposed to be hit that hard, let alone by guys that walk around 17, 18, 19, 20 stone, and Joe Joyce has taken too much punishment. Someone was going to get to him, and Zhilei Zhang got to him. It’s just that simple,” said Ade.
Joyce wasn’t knocked out in the traditional sense in his first fight with Zhang. That was a stoppage due to his right eye closing, so it’s not like his chin has abandoned him.
Joyce’s knockout loss last Saturday was because he got careless by trying to punch with Zhang, who obviously had been working on that right-hand counter hook in camp.
Joyce should have focused on using his jab exclusively in the first eight rounds and moved around the ring to keep from getting hit.
The time for him to attack would be in the championship rounds when Zhang was tired. Instead of Joyce using that approach, he tried to slug with Zhang while he was fresh and paid the price.
Zhang won’t get Fury fight
As for Zhang, he called out Fury. Fury ain’t fighting him,” said Ade. “I don’t know what you do, Zhang. I hope for Frank Warren’s sake that he’s got dibs on him.”
Zhang has no hope of getting a fight with Tyson Fury because he’s too dangerous. Fury is chinny, old, fat, and he hasn’t fought anyone good in years. For all intents and purposes, Fury is retired and just using his WBC title as a selling tool.
Like an ex-president still insisting on being called ‘Mr. President.’ Fury isn’t going to mess up the easy money he’s getting from the Saudis and for soft fights against weak British competition by fighting Zhang.
All the mauling tactics that Fury uses to beat Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, and Dereck Chisora wouldn’t work against Zhang because he weighs more than him and is physically stronger.
“Hopefully, Frank has secured him to his like some sort of three or four-fight contract,” said Ade. “If he has, then there are a number of heavyweights who will still fight Zhang. I don’t know if it’s a money fight fighting Zhang.
“There’s been a lot of talk about Zhang’s star power in China. If that is true, maybe you can somehow get over there and do something, but he’s a dangerous man. He’s a dangerous, confident man.”
For Zhang to lure any of the top heavyweights, someone in China would need to come up with the money to make it worthwhile for a fighter like Anthony Joshua to agree to fight him.
“One thing that I’ve always felt was lacking with him, and I think we saw it way back when he thought Jerry Forrest was his stamina, and that seems to have improved now,” said Ade about Zhang. “He’s very patient. He’s not trying to throw three or four-punch combinations to get you out there.
“When there’s an opening, he takes his opening, and he takes it very well, doesn’t he? But he’s not rushing his work, and he’s intimidating because he’s so big. What was his weight? 287. That’s intimidating,” said Ade.