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Zhilei Zhang vs. Joe Joyce 2: Fight Week is Here!

"He's not moving his head, he's not changing his position and angles. That makes my job easier." Zhilei Zhang


London, UK (September 18, 2023) - A seismic rematch in the heavyweight division is on the horizon as Zhilei Zhang looks to recreate his stunning victory over Joe Joyce. This fight will take place at London's OVO Arena on September 23, with the 12-round bout set to be broadcast on TNT Sports in the U.K. and ESPN+ in the U.S.

Joe Joyce, aptly nicknamed "The Juggernaut," had been barreling his way toward a world title shot with a string of relentless, albeit somewhat unwieldy, performances. However, that all changed on April 15 of this year when Zhang, known as "Big Bang," not only handed Joyce his first professional defeat but also seized the WBO interim title in a bout held at the Copper Box Arena.

Zhang vs. Joyce: Will it be repeat or revenge

Joyce sustained significant damage in their first grueling six-round battle, ultimately prompting the referee to call off the fight with his right eye nearly swollen shut. Equally troubling for Joyce was the apparent ease with which Zhang absorbed his punches.

In a recent interview with Standard Sport, Zhang reflected on his experience facing Joyce: "It's quite enjoyable to be in the ring with him. He's not moving his head, he's not changing his position and angles. That makes my job easier."

Joyce's unbeaten streak came to an end in the Copper Box, and Zhang's victory earned him a mandatory shot at Oleksandr Usyk when the WBO rotation system next required Usyk to fulfill his obligations. However, to maintain his position as the frontrunner, the 40-year-old Zhang must once again defeat Joyce, who activated his rematch clause. This highly anticipated rematch is scheduled for Saturday night at OVO Arena.

Zhang had been in discussions for a summer showdown with Tyson Fury, but those plans were put on hold when Joyce expressed his immediate desire for revenge. Zhang admitted, "I was a little surprised when I first heard about the rematch. It's in the contract, I knew he would activate it one way or another. But I didn't expect it to be so fast. I would have expected him to fight one or two interim bouts in between, get used to a southpaw style, and then take the rematch."

Joyce's durability has been his greatest asset as a professional, relying on his nearly indestructible chin as his primary line of defence. However, this strategy proved problematic against Zhang in April. When asked if he anticipates a more cautious approach from Joyce this time, Zhang replied, "It's not rocket science that you can't change to a different style in a few months. That's why the second fight will end even quicker."

At the age of 40, Zhang acknowledges that only George Foreman has won a heavyweight world title beyond this point in life. Nonetheless, he exudes confidence as he sets his sights on the titles held by Fury and Usyk: "I don't do anything other than eat, sleep, and train. At this age, I still feel I can compete for the heavyweight title. I am 100% confident that I will beat all these guys."

Intrigue and anticipation mount as the rematch between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce approaches, promising another unforgettable clash..

Zhilei Zhang vs. Joe Joyce: Fight Page Here

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