Joe Joyce and Zhilei Zhang are set to face off in a heavyweight brawl that’s sure to produce big, thudding shots from the first bell until one man relents.
Zhang is coming off the back of an impressive performance against Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic – one which he lost on the cards but won in the minds of many fans and pundits.
Joyce, on the other hand, remains undefeated in 15 fights, and has finished all of them bar one by stoppage. He holds the WBO Interim belt after a dominant performance over former world champ, Joseph Parker, in 2022.
The pair will collide on April 15 at London’s Copper Box Arena on BT Sport, and whilst ‘Big Bang’ from China poses a significant threat to any fighter in the division, the majority in boxing have Joyce winning and looking good doing it.
Heavyweight fan-favourite, Dave Allen, is in that camp, heaping praise on both fighters – but particularly the Brit – to SecondsOut.
“I think it’s a good fight, yeah. I think Zhang’s really good. The Hrgovic fight – I thought Zhang probably won that fight I think … I think Joyce will beat him no problems at all. I think Joyce is all wrong for Zhang.
I was watching Zhang pre-Hrgovic and he was looking like a two or three round fighter. He was blowing out. Against Hrgovic, I’m not sure what was different. But, while I think it’s a good fight, I think it’s one that’s perfect to make Joyce look good.
And Joyce is very good. I think Joyce is a danger … I’d put Joyce in that bracket with your Fury, Wilder, Usyk and Joshua for definite.”
A win will solidify Joyce’s status in the division as one of, if not the, frontrunner for a shot at the heavyweight titles when all is said and done with the undisputed contest between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
Promoter Frank Warren has already talked up a summer stadium fight between Joyce and Fury, one which both men as well as all boxing fans would welcome.