Despite not appearing to be too keen on the idea in the immediate aftermath of their first fight, Joe Joyce has to decided to activate a contractual rematch clause and take a second crack at Zhilei Zhang.
Zhang handed Joyce the first defeat of his professional career last month, upsetting the bookmakers’ odds when he forced referee Howard Foster to wave the contest off due to a brutal eye injury sustained by ‘The Juggernaut.’
When speaking to Boxing News about the possibility of a rematch, Zhang’s manager Terry Lane warned Joyce he was risking his career by stepping in with ‘Big Bang’ again.
“If he were to rematch us again, he would sustain such a severe beating. Probably not in the UK, probably China or the US. It could be career ending. It’s just a bad style matchup.”
“We earned our shot to bigger fights. Look, if Joe wants to enact the rematch clause and Queensberry want to do it, we’ll do it. I don’t know if that’s a good idea by Joe’s team.”
“We really respect Joe and his team. There is a path for him to bigger fights but it’s not through us. I don’t know why he would choose this especially after the result. I’ve seen the comments online, I don’t think there’s much of an appetite to see the rematch especially right away.”
“I think the last person that wants to see the Zhang rematch is Joe Joyce. It smells like this could be a step aside but we’re not even that far down [the line], we’re seeing what Queensberry want to do.”
Zhang had been linked to a big money fight with WBC world champion Tyson Fury, although the prospect of this now seems unlikely.
It remains unclear as of yet where a second meeting between the two behemoths will take place, though one would imagine Zhang can expect to make another trip to London.