Joe Joyce: “If Parker Beats Zhang, That Would Be A Good Fight For A Rematch”

By James Slater - 01/23/2024 - Comments

Heavyweight contender and former WBO interim heavyweight champion Joe Joyce is the only man to have fought both Joseph Parker and Zhilei Zhang. As such, “The Juggernaut” will be a most interested spectator/analyst when Parker and Zhang collide in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8th. Joyce, who defeated Parker by way of late stoppage in September of 2022, and was then stopped himself by Zhang (twice) last year, is hoping Parker cam beat Zhang, that way he and Parker can engage in a rematch that both men have expressed an interest in.

Speaking with Seconds Out, 38 year old Joyce, who returns to action in March, against Kash Ali (this a fight that has been called a mismatch by plenty of fans), knows all too well how dangerous Zhang is.

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“I think Parker has more experience fighting southpaws. It’s a real interesting fight for me to see because I’ve obviously fought them both,” Joyce, 15-2(14) said. “Zhang is very accurate. He doesn’t throw a lot of shots, but the shots he does throw are very powerful and meaningful. Parker throws quite a lot of shots, he’s got a good chin, he’s durable and he’s got a good boxing brain. I think it’s a good fight. I’m hopeful Parker can do it. Can beat Zhang and be just that bit smart and [more] skilful than I was. But Zhang, he’s very accurate, and if he hits him with a good shot he can put Parker down no problem. If Parker beats Zhang, that would be a good fight for a rematch.”

Joyce, who also says a rematch with another man he defeated in Daniel Dubois is a possibility, doesn’t have too much time on his side at age 38. But the beauty of heavyweight boxing is the way that one big win can get a guy right back to the top, or near the top. If Parker does beat Zhang, and if in turn Joyce then beat Parker again, “The Juggernaut” would be right back where he was prior to those two nasty encounters with the man called “Big Bang.”

But this is the key word – ‘if.’ Can Parker, 34-3(23) avoid Zhang’s big bombs, or if he cannot do so can he take them without being put to sleep? Can Parker stick to a strict game plan and outbox and outpoint the 26-1-1(21) Zhang? As Joyce says, this one is a good fight, a very, very interesting fight.

Joyce will not be calling for a third fight with Zhang if the 40 year old (who also does not have too much time on his side) wins on March 8, for obvious reasons. But if Parker does the business in Riyadh, Joyce and his people will be blowing up Parker’s phone!