On September 23 at London’s Wembley Arena, heavyweight contenders Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce will square off, with Zhang hoping to repeat his surprise victory against Joyce.
On April 15 at London’s Copper Box Arena, Chinese colossus Zhang, also known as “Big Bang” in the ring, stopped “Juggernaut” Joyce from living up to his moniker. The Englishman’s right eye swelled up so horribly that the referee had to stop the bout in the middle of the sixth round. In reality, Zhang oversaw the entire operation.
In the first bout, Joyce had trouble since Zhang fought in a southpaw position. The Englishman stood immediately in front of Zhang, allowing him to smash home the punches that reconstructed Joyce’s face rather than having to move outside of his opponent’s right foot to find the punching room.
Chris Eubank Jr. recently avenged a stoppage loss to Liam Smith in a rematch. Can Joyce learn from his first professional defeat and implement a new strategy to secure victory? The winner will be required by the WBO to face undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk.
This seems like the stuff of nightmares for the London-based boxer-puncher, unlike some heavyweight setbacks that look solvable (e.g., Hasim Rahman KO 5 Lennox Lewis or Andy Ruiz TKO 7 Anthony Joshua).
Joyce wasn’t hurt by a knockout blow, but he also didn’t have much success in the first fight since he was outboxed well from start to finish. Is it possible for him to turn things around in that time frame and make a difference?
The home fighter possesses the necessary fighting guts, but last time his feet let him down. His lack of speed is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately despite the fact that he is surprisingly athletic for a man of his size.
In his first bout, Joyce weighed in at 256 pounds, his lowest weight in over three years. A significant weight gain probably wouldn’t help Joyce in a rematch, either, given how unmoving and uninterested he was the first time around. Because his foot speed and positioning are crucial, his weight should be comparable.
It’s not completely unrealistic to hope that Joyce can turn things around after his recent struggles. However, it’s more likely that Zhang will land the more damaging blows because Joyce won’t be able to see them coming
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Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce Fight Information
- Date: 09/23/2023
- Time: 02:30 PM ET
- Location: the OVO Wembley Arena in London.
- How to Watch Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce: DAZN
- Live Stream: sho.com