Taking a loss in boxing doesn’t always mean the end, but in the wake of one high-profile Brit taking his second professional defeat in a row Tony Bellew has claimed he ‘wouldn’t beat the British champion.’
Sometimes boxers come out of a defeat with an increased profile, fresh respect for their toughness, or with reflected glory from a great performance. In the case of Joe Joyce this past weekend, none of that is true.
His second straight knockout defeat to Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang, which came quicker this time around and in more brutal fashion in just the third round, has left many wondering if his famous granite chin has turned to sand.
Speaking on talkSPORT Boxing, former cruiserweight champion Bellew reflected on the change in Joyce’s punch resistance since previous fights.
“Daniel Dubois hit him with everything and it just bounced off him. He was laughing at him and walking him down. How do you go from that to getting rocked off jabs and hurt every time you get hit? This is boxing, when it goes, it goes. I’ve seen it happen to legends over the years.”
He was then asked if Joyce will now ever get a world title shot.
“I don’t think he’d beat the British champion. That resistance was his biggest asset. Without that, he is not above British level. You cannot miss him. He’s not a guy with fluid boxing skills.”
Bellew went on to break down Joyce’s style and said without the punch resistance he’s a flawed fighter.
“The way he wins is cause he wears you out cause you punch him so many times and you get tired. What kind of plan is that?”