The rematch is on: Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang 2
Joe Joyce has activated a clause to have a rematch with Zhilei Zhang, talkSPORT has reported
‘The Juggernaut’ suffered a surprise first defeat of his career to the Chinese heavyweight last month, with Zhang winning by technical knockout in the sixth round after Joyce's right eye closed shut.
The Brit no longer holds the WBO Interim belt as a result and his record slipped to 15-1.
His dream of challenging unified heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk has temporarily slipped away, however, Joyce is looking to get back onto the world title shot ladder and right that wrong against ‘Big Bang’ next.
Joyce’s manager, Shane Watson, told talkSPORT: “The first fight was what it was. Joe knows how to put it right.
“We spoke about an interim fight but Joe made it clear he wanted the rematch as soon as possible and this shows how Joe will take any top heavyweight on at anytime.”
The first bout was stopped on the advice of the ringside doctor after Joyce’s right eye was completely swollen shut after being caught by the 40-year-old.
The result means Zhang could be in pole position to fight either Usyk or WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, however, he will be required to fight Joyce first as the rematch clause has been exercised.
Boxing promoter, George Warren, is still optimistic that Joyce will be among the big fights though.
He told talkSPORT two days after the fight: “It will be a big fight again but if it isn’t that fight Joe will be in big fights, Zhilei will be in big fights.
“There’s so much activity at heavyweight and this is what it’s all about. We wanna see fights where you don’t know the outcome and that’s what we got on Saturday.”
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