Joe Joyce Was Promised A “Big Fight” If He Beat Kash Ali, But Can Joyce Still Win The Big One?

By James Slater - 03/17/2024 - Comments

As fans who tuned in last night know, “Juggernaut” Joe Joyce rolled back into action after suffering two heavy defeats at the hands of Zhilei Zhang, with the 38 year old, career-heavy Joyce labouring to a 10th round KO win over huge underdog Kash Ali. It wasn’t in the least bit pretty, and Joyce, who tipped-in over the 20st mark, looked slow, cumbersome, and robotic.

No, Joyce has never been fast, nor will he ever be, but it was quite alarming seeing his slow-mo moves and punches last night. And Joyce, who made a name for himself as a warrior who had an uncrackable chin prior to the two losses to “Big Bang,” was caught with a few shots by Ali.

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Now 16-2(15), Joyce rolls onto the next fight, but fans are asking themselves how much Joe has got left. Ali, now 21-3(12), didn’t engage too much during the fight, surviving seemingly his main objective, but at the same time, he made Joyce look, well, slow, cumbersome, and robotic.

Prior to last night’s comeback fight, promoter Frank Warren promised Joyce a “big fight” at world level should he come through okay against Ali (and to be honest, plenty of fans felt Joyce would win in a few rounds at the most last night, not see the fight go all the way to the final seconds of the last round). Joyce got the win, but can he still deliver at elite level?

There are fights out there for Joyce, for sure. A return rumble with Joseph Parker would prove interesting, Joyce being the only man to have stopped the resurgent Parker. While Joyce against Dillian Whyte (who fights his own comeback fight tonight in Ireland, against Christian Hammer) would pull in some fans.

But Joyce still believes he can be a world champion. The former WBO interim champ looked to be on his way prior to running into Zhang, but today, who knows? If you are fond of handing out ratings for a fighter’s performance, Joyce probably deserves a C- for last night’s work. He will have to be so much better against anyone in the top-10. But has Joyce peaked, with age, excess weight, and those two Zhang losses having taken too much out of him?

Let’s see how soon it is before Joyce gets back in the ring. And hopefully he will weigh a good deal less the next time he fights.

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