After his humbling TKO loss to China’s Zhilei Zhang last month, former WBO top heavyweight contender Joe Joyce of England has decided he wants his contractual rematch.
Joyce announced on social media Wednesday that he wants Zhang, again, and is looking to get not only revenge, but his standing with the WBO back,
— Joe Joyce (@JoeJoyceBoxing) May 9, 2023
“Rematch clause activated. Taking back what’s mine,” Joyce wrote in the post.
The massive Chinese fighter Zhang got the biggest win of his career on April 15th putting in a dominant performance and stopping Joyce due to a swollen shut right eye. Zhang, now 25-1-1, used his southpaw stance, right jabs, but more significant, hard straight lefts to hammer Joyce form early on in the bout. It was obvious from the the third round on that Joyce’s right eye was swelling badly and it was almost shut by the end of the fourth round.
The 40 year old Zhang, sensing the upset, continue to hit Joyce hard with the lefts and even 1-2’s with a right behind it causing the Brit’s nose to also stream blood. The stoppage became obvious, when the ringside came to the apron trying to see if Joyce could see at all out of the right eye, while absorbing a beating. The bout was halted seconds later with no dispute from the Joyce corner.
Now, the 37 year old Joyce is 15-1 and must regroup after facing a cross roads for him with his first defeat. And, rather than taking another bout in between a Zhang rematch, Joyce has exercised his well-negotiated right to get Zhang back in the ring before 2023 is up.
Or, will that be next?
There has been growing speculation in the British media and even Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum confirmed that Zhang is a target opponent for WBC heavyweight titleholder, Tyson Fury. Arum even confirming that they have been looking at July dates for England’s Wembley Stadium for the possible Fury-Zhang matchup. The biggest appeal would be a potential large Chinese audience for Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank to stage the bout.
So, does Joyce take “step aside money” (probably significant) to let Zhang fight Fury?
Or, do we get the Juggernaut back with “Big Bang” Zhang for a second time.