British heavyweight prospect, Frazer Clarke has highlighted faults in the matchmaking of Joe Joyce’s recent defeat to Zhilei Zhang and suspected that the advisers of ‘The Juggernaut’ clearly didn’t do their homework on the Chinaman.
Zhang handed Joyce the first defeat of his career on Saturday night, with the referee waiving the fight off in the sixth round as a result of excessive damage to the right eye of the 37-year-old.
Consequently, Joyce has not only lost his WBO Interim title, but his position as the mandatory challenger and therefore his chance of a fight with unified champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Clarke was quick to question the decision to have such a dangerous fight with little gain but everything he’s worked for up for grabs, and suggested that the Rio 2016 silver medallist and his team possibly overlooked Zhang ahead of the fight.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Clarke said:
“[He should] probably swerve it [rematch with Zhang]. Probably no need for it, in fact there was probably no need for this one.
In hindsight, who is directing Joe, who is advising Joe, someone didn’t do their homework properly. Someone is getting fired in the morning. Unfortunately, I think Joe could be part to blame as well, obviously he is the one going in there, maybe he just disregarded his defence a little bit because he takes all these shots and seems to walk through everything.”
Joyce now finds himself in a tough position where he will have to rebuild himself into a position to fight for heavyweight gold, but turning professional six years ago, at the age of 31, means there is little time to waste.
As for Clarke, the BBBofC have ordered a fight against Fabio Wardley, with Wardley’s British heavyweight title on the line. A deadline of Wednesday May 10 has been set for promoters to lodge their purse bids for the fight between the Matchroom and Boxxer fighters should a deal not be reached prior.