Eddie Hearn predicts WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang will score a stoppage within six rounds in his rematch with Joe Joyce on September 23rd at the Wembley Arena in London.
Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) lost to Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) by a sixth round TKO last April at the Copprer Box after the contest was halted due to his left eye closing up.
Instead of moving on and admitting that he’d met his match against the powerful two-time Chinese Olympian Zhang, Joyce is choosing to fight him in an immediate rematch, hoping he can make adjustments to his game to avenge his loss and regain his WBO mandatory spot so that he can challenge for a world title against champion Oleksandr Usyk.
“I’ve got a feeling for Zhang stoppage inside six,” said Eddie Hearn on Instagram.
Joyce will come in heavier for rematch
“It’s a tough fight. I’m up against it with Zhang in the rematch. I didn’t put on a great performance last time and was stopped with the eye, unfortunately. This time, I aim to get the win, and get the interim WBO title back in time when the mandatories are called,” said Joe Joyce to iFL TV.
“There were some bits & pieces that weren’t right. I’m going to put them right this time around. I’m focused and ready to do the job this time and get back what’s mine.
“Obviously, I had southpaw sparring in the camp, and I know how to fight southpaws,” said Joyce when asked if he’d had enough preparation for the southpaw stance of Zhang.
“There were adjustments & tactics that. This is a fresh start and a fresh camp. I’m doing everything right so I can get it right on the night. Coming in a bit heavier, a bit stronger, and more practice.
“It was easier for Zhang because he’s used to fighting orthodox fighters, so he has the timing and knows exactly what to do, especially because he had a fight against a similar fighter, Filip Hrgovic.
Zhang had the practice with Hrgovic, so he had more of an advantage than I was because I hadn’t really fought a southpaw. He’s a big old unit, Zhang, and deceptively fast hands and a very accurate puncher. He closed up my eye and bruised it up.
“I was willing to continue, and I could still see out of the eye. I think if it had gone a little bit further, it could have changed things or it could have made my eye worse. I live to fight another day, and I’ll go back in there and beat him,” said Joyce about Zhang.