Former world champion turned pundit, Paulie Malignaggi, has revealed that he was left ‘befuddled’ by the performance of an Olympic medalist in his recent heavyweight outing.
The fight took place back in April and saw the man many saw as an unstoppable force get stopped by the referee who had no choice in light of the eye damage that had been sustained.
Big Chinese puncher Zhilei Zhang took the victory that night and it was Brit Joy Joyce who took his first and rather surprising loss and, at the same time, lost his mandatory position for a shot at WBA, WBO and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Speaking to ProBox TV, Malignaggi explained his confusion at Joyce’s last showing ahead of the rematch in London on Saturday.
“First off you’ve got to find some head movement and figure out how to stay out of the way of the left hand. Zhang couldn’t miss him with the left hand. It almost left me befuddled like, has this guy ever been in the ring with a leftie? Does he know how to fight a leftie? All this experience, Olympic silver medal, Top 10 world contender and it seems like he’s in the ring for the first time in his life with a leftie.”
He then said he once had high hopes for Joyce but needs to see some changes before he is of that opinion again.
“I’m thinking before the fight this guy’s a real threat for the heavyweight crown and now it’s like it’s the first time he’s ever seen a leftie. I’m sure some adjustments will be made but it has to start with not being hit by the left hand. Defensively, do not get hit so cleanly and consistently.”
Joyce will do well to heed the advice of Malignaggi and it has surely been something he has been working on in camp.