Pindit Paulie Malignaggi predicts winner of Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce 2
Can Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (15-1, 14KO) gain redemption on Saturday? Or does Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (25-1-1, 20KO) get the double over the British heavyweight? Paulie Malignaggi seems to think that Zhang will get the better of Joyce once again in their blockbuster rematch, on September 23 in London, which has both the Interim WBO World title on the line and a shot at unified champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Speaking to Casino Alpha, Malignaggi boldy predicted that: “Zhang wins again”.
Joyce should have taken tune up fight before rematch
“I think Zhang wins again. Psychologically, Zhang, having knocked out Joyce and then Joyce choosing to go right back to a rematch instead of taking an in-between fight, is significant. When you’ve been knocked out so dominantly, I think an in-between fight is more smart. I don't know if he can make all the adjustments, physically and psychologically, all in one camp, so I think that those two things will factor in Zhang winning.
“You haven't even come back with a win before taking the rematch to get that mental edge back, so before that opening bell rings, you know this guy had his way with you the first time. There's that creeping doubt in you, that when the bell rings and you're standing right in front of them, you know the danger that he poses.”
It’s unlikely Joyce is able to make physical and psychological adjustments with just one camp
“I don't think the rematch will be any easier for Joyce because you've got to get over the psychological barrier of this guy who stopped you. Also I don’t know if Joyce knows how to fight southpaws all that well because he was getting hit cleanly way too much in the first fight, more so than we've seen before.
“It was not the fact he was getting hit often, but you just can't get hit clean the way he was getting hit, and the thing about Zhang is – he's got a very good right hook for a southpaw and that was also landing very well in the first fight, so Joyce needs to get his angles adjusted here. He needs to adjust his angles and feet much better in the second fight. There's a lot of adjustments to be made.
“Zhang completely befuddled Joyce from the southpaw angle, so I think Joyce has to master the range against the southpaw a little bit better – because the range changes against a southpaw – and then when he does that he's got to then get on his own attack. I think his offense becomes his best defense, which is why I think these guys make another fun fight.
“I think it's a good fight. Zhang is becoming sort of a must see TV great, he had a great fight with Hrgovic, but came up short in a fight that he could have won. And then he ends up beating Joyce and beating him up at that. Joyce was on a sort of a meteoric rise, having recently had that big stoppage win over Daniel Dubois, who was a hot shot himself. And Joyce had the momentum from the amateurs with his Olympic medal and he was being discussed as a possible opponent for Tyson Fury, so it was a big win for Zhang.”
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