Joe Joyce enters the most important fight of his life in the form of a rematch with Chinese heavyweight, Zhilei Zhang.
‘Big Bang’s southpaw stance and stiff shots bamboozled Joyce to the point of stoppage back in April, his eye dangerously swollen by the sixth round.
He lost his unbeaten record and his mandatory spot for a shot at the world title that night, so activated the rematch clause to attempt to get the latter back.
Speaking to Boxing News, two-weight world champion turned pundit, Carl Frampton, is backing the Brit to do the job.
“I think revenge. I think that Joe was very, very poor in the first fight, he’s admitted that. It looked like he’d never seen a southpaw in his life, never mind prepared properly with southpaws in training.
With small adjustments – he doesn’t even have to do anything major – he can reverse that and win the fight. I fancied him in the first fight but I got it wrong. But I think he will win this fight.”
Frampton then said that, although Joyce had been picked apart from the opening, there were signs the tide was turning.
“There were signs in the first fight, although the eye was badly swollen and Joe was getting hit a lot, there were signs that Zhang was tiring just a little bit when the stoppage came. Joe was having a wee bit of success, obviously with one eye shut as well.
I think he can win this fight and I think that he will stop Zhang late.”
The general consensus is that if Joyce can weather storm in the first half of the fight that his stamina will allow him to take advantage of Zhang, 39. The Chinese heavyweight did tire similarly in his loss to Filip Hrgovic.
But it’s those first six that present the danger, meaning Joyce must find a way to avoid the straight left hand that simply couldn’t miss the first time around.