Newly crowned interim WBO heavyweight champion Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) says he’d like to face WBC champ Tyson Fury next in China after defeating Joe Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London.
(Courtesy: Queensberry Promotions)
Zhang says he turned pro at 30 after competing in two Olympics, and he wants to capture a world title and fighting Fury or IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk are possible routes for him to take.
If Zhang can’t get a fight with Fury or Usyk, he says he’d be open to giving Joyce a rematch in London, New York, or Beijing, China. Joyce, however, says he’s not certain whether he wants a rematch because he might take another first.
It’s understandable why Joyce wouldn’t want to take a risky rematch with Zhang, and he was stopped in the sixth round by him tonight. He couldn’t get out of the way of the southpaw Zhang’s left hand, as he was hit repeatedly throughout the fight.
In the sixth, the ringside doctor advised that the fight be halted after Joyce’s right eye closed up, courtesy of the hard left hands that Zhang had been hitting him with.
“It was easy when I hurt Hrgovic with that backhand, and I believe anybody will get hit with my backhand. They can see it coming, but they can’t get away from it,” said Zhilei Zhang to Secondsout following his victory over Joe Joyce on Saturday night.
“Tyson Fury in China,” said Zhang about who he wants to fight next if it’s up to him.
“I feel like people were questioning about my conditioning and stamina after the Hrgovic fight, but for me, I have such a successful training camp. My boxing & conditioning trainers stayed on top of it.
“I know that Joe Joyce wanted to take this to deep water and drown me, but I’m here. You can drown me if you want, but I’m ready for twelve rounds.
“Yeah, I’ll do it if Joe Joyce wants to do it,” said Zhang when asked if he’d be interested in giving Joyce a rematch. “I’ll do it in London, New York, or China.
“Failure doesn’t mean anything. If I [had] failed tonight. I’ll go back and watch my video and work on my weakness, and I’ll come back again,” said Zhang when asked if he would have retired if he lost to Joyce tonight.
“I turned pro at 30. I’ve been here so many years, aiming for a title, and I’m having this mandatory position, and I’m going for a title.
“Yes, after the last fight [Filip Hrgovic], I don’t want to give the result to the referee or judges. It’s obviously my own destiny and I create my own life,” said Zhang when asked if he felt he needed a knockout to win tonight against Joyce.
“Anywhere. London, New York or China,” Zhang said about possible locations for his next fight.