Joe Joyce says he wants to think it over before he takes a rematch with Zhilei Zhang after losing to the two-time Olympian last Saturday night in London. Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) was stopped in the sixth round after his right eye closed up, making it impossible to see the incoming shots from the hard-hitting Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs).
Joyce couldn’t get out of the way of Zhang’s left hands, and that will not change in a rematch. If Joyce is going to fight Zhang again, he will need to fight defensively by staying on the outside, throwing mostly jabs.
Even on the outside, Joyce won’t be able to avoid Zhang’s lead left hands because he closes distance well when attacking his opponents.
Zhang said after the fight that he’ll give Joyce a rematch if he wanted one, and he’d be interested in fighting him in Beijing, China, New York, or London. The two-time Olympian Zhang also said that he wants to fight Tyson Fury next, but fat chance that will happen.
“Yeah, possibly. I’ll discuss it with my team what my options are. It doesn’t look good taking rematches recently. Maybe I’ll take another one in the meantime or something like that,” said Joe Joyce to talkSPORT Boxing when asked if he’ll take the rematch with Zhilei Zhang next.
After the way Zhang disposed of Joyce, Fury won’t give him the time of day. Fury is heading toward retirement, and he won’t want to mix it with a killer puncher like Zhang, with him looking to take his head off with left hands all night.
Given outgunned Joyce with faster and more powerful southpaw Zhang; he could live to regret it if he takes this rematch. If the 37-year-old Joyce gets stopped a second time by Zhang, his career will be as good as done.
Going into the fight with Zhang, Joyce was known for having a steel chin. However, that reputation was built on his fighting opposition with moderate power.
Joyce had never fought anyone like Zhang, so we didn’t know how he would hold up once he started getting nailed.
Joyce isn’t young enough to come back from consecutive losses to Zhang, and the top guys, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, and Deontay Wilder, aren’t going to want to waste their time fighting if he gets beaten again.