An official announcement seems imminent on the next move for feared heavyweight contender and WBO interim belt holder Joe Joyce.
BoxingScene has broken the news that ‘The Juggernaut’ will take on hard hitting Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang at the 02 Arena in London on April 15th.
2022 saw Joyce break through to the top echelons of the blue ribbon division, with his stunning 11th round knockout of former world champion Joseph Parker cementing his status as a bonafide contender.
Zhang may be a familiar name to British fans from his dramatic fight with Filip Hrgovic on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua II. Despite doing enough in the eyes of many to get his hand raised that night, it was not to be for “Big Bang,” as Hrgovic was awarded a close unanimous decision victory.
The two are amongst the biggest punchers in the heavyweight division and are seldom known to take a backwards step, so fans in London this spring should not expect to hear the final bell.
Joyce is in a prime position for the winner of a potential undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, so could have been forgiven for opting for a less dangerous opponent as he looks to stay busy in the first half of 2023.
Although he will go into the contest an underdog, Zhang will see the Brit as the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of Jeddah and catapult himself into world title contention.