Former WBO cruiserweight world champion, Johnny Nelson, has made his prediction ahead of Joe Joyce’s upcoming chance of vengeance against the man who handed him his first professional defeat, Zhilei Zhang.
Both Joyce and Zhang came into the sport with strong amateur and Olympic pedigree, with the Brit winning the silver medal at Rio 2016 and ‘Big Bang’ Zhang earning the bronze at Beijing 2008.
However, it took until 2023 for the pair to meet in the professional ranks, with a combined age of seventy-seven between the two world title contenders but both seemingly at their peaks.
‘The Juggernaut’ went into the contest as a heavy favourite, possessing what was widely regarded as the best ‘chin’ in the division accompanied by the heart and relentlessness of a genuine title threat.
It was Zhang who came out on top though, landing his straight left-hand at will to close the eye of the home fighter, rendering his chin void as the doctor intervened to wave it off.
Now, Joyce will seek to avenge his lone loss by facing the Henan-born ‘big man’ for the second time in five months, and Nelson told Boxing News that he believes his countryman can improve on his last performance and even the scores.
“That could be revenge, Joe tried to chop down another ‘Joe’, that stuck it out. Joe can box, if he boxes and bangs, he will win. So that could be revenge.”
Joyce and Zhang will meet at Wembley Arena on Saturday September 23, live on TNT Sports and topping a card which features the likes of Anthony Yarde, Zach Parker, Sam Noakes, Tommy Fletcher and Moses Itauma, with the cream of the Queensberry crop is on display for all to see.