Former super-bantamweight and featherweight world champion, Carl Frampton has predicted another stoppage in Joe Joyce’s upcoming rematch against Zhilei Zhang, which is set for next month.
Zhang recorded an upset win on away soil back in April, dominating his bout with Joyce until it was called off by the doctor as the Brit’s eye began to close.
The victory meant that Zhang claimed Joyce’s WBO interim title, but the 37-year-old activated his rematch clause almost immediately in an attempt to win it straight back.
The interim title means that the winner of the rematch will be poised to face Oleksandr Usyk at some point down the line for the unified heavyweight crown.
Frampton believes that Joyce could find himself in that position, predicting a knockout win for ‘The Juggernaut’ – assuming the proper changes are made – in an interview with Seconds Out.
“I fancied Joyce in the first fight, he got it completely wrong, and he’s been honest in admitting that. I still fancy him in this fight, I think that, with a few adjustments, he can change the result of that [first fight].
I think Zhang hurt him early in the first fight, and he couldn’t really deal with the southpaw stance, but with some adjustments, I think that he could stop Zhang.
There may even have been signs that it was coming in the first fight, Zhang was starting to breathe heavily, but the eye [of Joyce] started to close over and the doctor made the right decision.
People have been saying ‘well, if the eye had not have closed up…’, but Zhang was the one that made the eye close up, because he was hitting him so accurately.
“I do think that Joyce can change it, but he needs to be so much better than he was in the first fight.”
Joyce-Zhang II will take place at Wembley Arena on September 23 and will be available to watch live on TNT Sports.