By Craig Daly: Joe Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) says he’s not retiring after being knocked out in the third round by WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) in their rematch tonight at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
In hindsight, Joyce states that he should have fought another southpaw before taking the rematch with Zhang tonight, but he chose to take the gamble.
It’s going to be difficult for the 38-year-old Joyce to come back from the loss. Without his promoter giving him a helping hand by setting him up with a title shot against WBC champion Tyson Fury, it’s unrealistic for Joyce to get in position to challenge for a title.
After dominating the first two rounds, Zhang finished off Joycee in the third round, blasting him with a right hook to the head that put him down on his face.
WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) scored a highlight reel third round knockout of Joe Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) in their rematch on Saturday night in front of a stunned crowd at the OVO Arena in London, England.
“Well, Zhang is a great fighter, and he is a great southpaw. He’s a fellow silver medalist, and he’s probably avoided by most. So it was probably a bit too far of a risk because I need to fight a southpaw because I hadn’t fought a southpaw for a long time,” said Joe Joyce to Queensberry following his third round knockout loss to Zhilei Zhang on Saturday night.
“Yeah, he’s a great fighter and probably, and he’s avoided
for a reason. So, I’m just disappointed because I got myself into the position I was and then it was obviously a risk too far, and I paid the price.
“I was concentrating on what he was throwing and like warming into the fight and doing what I’d been practicing, but you know it’s different. He’s a difficult fighter, and maybe it’s just a risk too far.
“Maybe I could have gone another route, but I decided to take the challenge and paid the price, but there’s obviously, this is not it for me. So there’s plenty more. I’ve got plenty more in the tank. So you should see me again out there.
“I’m just gonna have to have a bit of time off, reflect, and watch the fight back and then come back like new and improved. I have to talk to my team and see what’s the best route,” said Joyce.