Joe Joyce faces Zhilei Zhang for the second time just five months on from a devastating loss.
The British heavyweight lost his undefeated record, aura of invincibility and WBO Interim title back in April. ‘Big Bang’ Zhang put in a career best performance to break Joyce down from the very first bell.
With the rematch clause activated and September 23 fast approaching, there’s a general consensus that Joyce must come in heavier and do all that he can to limit the damage he takes in the first half of the fight.
He’s admitted that the lighter weight earlier in the year was a mistake and perhaps took away some of his advantages in the ring that fans are so used to seeing.
At 38-year-old and with dreams of becoming a world champion, it’s as close to a must-win as it gets for ‘The Juggernaut.’
When asked by Boxing Social how he sees the fight going, promoter Eddie Hearn said repeat rather than revenge – and a precise one at that.
“I’m afraid to say it, I’m gonna go with a Zhang stoppage inside six rounds.”
Zhang’s sharp and accurate work caused serious swelling around Joyce’s eye in their first bout, ultimately leading the referee to wave it off in the sixth to avoid any more serious damage.
This time, Joyce enters the ring as an underdog with the bookmakers, and will be facing an extra confident Zhang. Whether or not he can make the necessary adjustments to overcome those odds and regain his mandatory position will be revealed come Saturday night in London.