Joe Joyce was stopped for the second time in a row by China’s Zhilei Zhang – a devastating third round right hook ending the fight that many said was last chance saloon for the Brit.
“Personally, I would have left Zhang alone for now, and built back with lower key opponents. I can understand the impulse to try to wipe the slate clean and avenge his only defeat, but he faces the same difficulties he encountered last time.
Zhang is very accurate. He could not miss Joyce with the back-hand and chopped him up with the right hook. The referee gave Joyce every chance but the doctor stopped it. What’s going to be different this time?”
The Hall of Fame fighter turned manager and promoter said Joyce had met his match in Zhang.
“Joyce is pedestrian. He uses his physical strength and his stamina. He has a great engine. That’s his motif. He just rolls over the top of them. Hence the juggernaut nickname.
The problem is when he meets someone of the same size but quicker, and a southpaw to boot. Zhang is even older at 40 but well preserved.”
Finally, McGuigan said that the claims Joyce was too light in the first fight and could remedy the loss by coming in heavy were unfounded. Joyce did tip the scales at a whopping 281lbs, a career heavyiest.
“In my view his weight had nothing to do with it. He was still 250 pounds plus. What would another stone do? It would make him less mobile and more hittable. Weight was irrelevant. It is about styles and Zhang is all wrong for Joyce. The holy grail in boxing is speed. And Zhang has it.
As an orthodox fighter a southpaw who can punch fast is the worst possible opponent. Zhang is clever too. And for that reason I don’t see a different outcome. I hope I’m wrong but this could be a punt too far.”
Despite some calls and questions on retirement, Joyce confirmed post-fight that fans would see him in the ring again.