The official weights are in for tomorrow night’s heavyweight rematch between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce. And it’s fair to say both men are very much heavyweights! Zhang tipped-in a career-high weight of 287.2 pounds, while Joyce also scaled a career-high poundage at 281.2 pounds.
Both men carry the weight well and both guys looked good on the scale. Back in their April fight, the knock on “The Juggernaut” was that he made a big mistake by coming in too light, this at 256 pounds. Joyce has obviously listened to the experts, with him bulking up by a massive 25 pounds. Whether or not this sees the 38 year old to victory this time, well, we will all be tuning in tomorrow night to find out.
Zhang, who scaled 278 pounds for the April fight, has added almost ten pounds to his frame. Like Joyce, Zhang needs to get the win tomorrow night, as he cannot afford a loss himself. Two massive guys, both with a big punch and a very real desire to get the win. It seems tomorrow’s fight cannot fail to be explosive.
Speaking after the fight, Zhang said he has had “the best training camp of his career,” and the 40 year old southpaw also said that he saw “an old injury that has not healed yet.” Zhang was of course referring to Joyce’s right eye, which was badly busted up in the April fight, the bout stopped due to the bad swelling. Zhang said today that it took Joyce a month of recovery time “to look okay,” but that “deep inside the scars and the tissues, we never know.”
Is there a possibility Zhang, 25-1-1(20) is almost banking on Joyce’s eye going again? Is this what Zhang and his team are hoping for? There is of course a very real chance that Joyce could suffer another injury to his eye, and as some people have said, five months is not that much time between the two fights. It would be awful for Joyce if his eye did cost him the fight once again, but Zhang has not minced his words, with “Big Bang” saying that he will certainly be targeting the eye tomorrow.
Joyce, 15-1(14) said after today’s weigh-in that he feels he can stop Zhang, “if I hit him with the right shot.” Maybe he can. Most experts are in agreement: this fight has no chance of going all 12 rounds.
Pick: Zhang to score a mid-rounds stoppage win, with Joyce taking too many shots and being pulled out, either by his corner or with the referee calling a halt to the fight.