Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs) once again came out on top against Joe Joyce as he won via third round knockout. Their fight took place at the Wembley Arena in London, England. The bout headlined an event promoted by Queensberry Promotions and was broadcast by TNT Sports in the UK and ESPN+ in the United States.
Previously, both men faced each other on April 15 with Zhang winning a sixth round stoppage. The fight came to an end when the ringside doctor took a look at the right eye of Joyce and deemed him unable to continue. This time, Zhang ended things much more quickly and conclusively.
The fight began with both men pawing at each other in the middle of the ring. In round two, Zhang started to close the distance and land hooks to the head of Joyce. Despite Joyce attempting to avoid getting hit by moving to the left, Zhang was able to land with increasing frequency in the second. The fight came to an end when Zhang landed a hard right hook to the head of Joyce in round three after a left hook to the body. Joyce fell face first to the canvas and failed to beat the count of referee Steve Gray, signalling an end to the contest.
“I feel very happy,” said Zhang via a translator following the fight. “Like I said, it would end sooner than the first fight. I did it. Respect to [Joyce]. Thanks to everyone who witnessed my greatness!”
Zhang also proceeded to call out WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) by asking if the crowd “wants to see him shut Tyson Fury up.”
NOT A FLUKE.
Big Bang Zhang ends the rivalry with a highlight reel KO 🤯🇨🇳 pic.twitter.com/kArwVgWzoR
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 23, 2023
Zhang-Joyce 2 undercard recap
Anthony Yarde (24-3, 23 KOs) successfully returned to the ring with a second round stoppage over Jorge Silva (22-9, 12 KOs). Silva went down in round two and failed to beat referee Marcus McDonnell’s count. The win marks Yarde’s first fight since his eighth round TKO loss to Artur Beterbiev in January early this year.
Moses Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) defeated Amine Boucetta (7-9, 0 KOs) via first round TKO. After Boucetta went down twice, the heavyweight fight waved off at the 1:33 minute mark.
Pierce O’Leary (13-0, 7 KOs) overcame a cut above the left eye in round five to win via unanimous decision. Judges scored his super lightweight clash against Kane Gardner (16-3, 7 KOs) 100-90 and 99-92 (x2).
Zach Parker (23-1, 17 KOs) also successfully returned to the ring following his loss to John Ryder in November 2022. Following seven one-sided rounds, Khalid Graidia’s (10-13-4, 2 KOs) corner stopped the super middleweight fight.
Royston Barney-Smith (7-0, 3 KOs) earned a points win over Engel Gomez (8-18-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight bout. Gomez was knocked down in rounds two and three. Referee McDonnell scored the fight 60-52.
Ezra Taylor (7-0, 5 KOs) won via eighth round TKO against Joel McIntyre (20-8, 5 KOs). The time of stoppage for this light heavyweight clash was 2:59.
Tommy Fletcher (6-0, 5 KOs) stopped Alberto Tapia (3-5, 2 KOs) in round four of their cruiserweight bout. Tapia went down a total of five times before his corner threw in the towel. The time of stoppage was 1:28.
Sean Noakes (6-0, 3 KOs) won a six-round points decision against Lukasz Barabasz (2-9, 1 KO). Referee John Latham scored the super welterweight contest 59-54.
A six-round cruiserweight clash between Aloys Youmbi (4-1, 4 KOs) and Erik Nazaryan (29-33-4, 22 KOs) did not take place during the telecast of the event.
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