Following back to back stoppage defeats to Zhilei Zhang, there have been calls from some quarters for British heavyweight Joe Joyce to retire from boxing.
Joyce’s second loss to Zhang was particularly brutal, with a crushing right hook from southpaw ‘Big Bang’ bringing proceedings to an abrupt end in the third round of their rematch in London.
So devastating was the stoppage that observers, who have also cited the punishment sustained by the Brit in both his earlier professional and amateur fights, believe the time could be right for him to hang up the gloves. Both Carl Froch and Tony Bellew have said that ‘The Juggernaut’s career may be over.
However, esteemed trainer Shane McGuigan admitted he did not share that view in a recent interview with Boxing Social.
“I think he [Joyce] can come back. I know he’s 38, but he can come back.”
“He wasn’t knocked out cold by that shot. That shot would have knocked 99% of heavyweights in the world out cold.”
“I saw a comment saying his punch resistance is gone. I don’t believe that’s the case.”
Despite the calls for retirement, the early indicators from Joyce are that he will continue with his career, though it is difficult to see how he will be able to manoeuvre himself back into position to challenge for a world title in the near future.
‘The Juggernaut’ was previously WBO interim world champion before his ill-fated decision to boxing Zhang back in April, meaning he would have been guaranteed a shot at the full world title at some point.
However, if he is to continue, Joyce, 38, cannot afford to lament over the past and needs to attempt to land another big fight as soon as possible.