In an unfiltered chat with talkSPORT, Joe Joyce gets real about his career, his upcoming fight against Zhilei Zhang, and the future he’s carving out in the boxing world.
“Yeah, it’s a must win for me. This is a fight where it’s make or break,” Joyce revealed during the latest talkSPORT interview.
He is well aware of the challenges that come with the fight. Zhang and his team are training relentlessly, improving, adapting, preparing for everything. Joyce knows that Zhang has grown more confident and is well-versed in dealing with Orthodox fighters. On the other hand, Joyce, who hasn’t faced a Southpaw in quite a while, acknowledges the dramatic change of game plan this involves. It’s a chess match in the ring, where each move determines the outcome, and Joyce is playing a different game than usual.
“It’s a tough fight…Zhang and his team are training hard. This is my first Southpaw for a while…it’s a completely different tactic,” Joyce confesses.
There’s no denying the difference in tactics when facing a Southpaw versus an Orthodox fighter. Zhang’s counter-Southpaw style throws another curveball at Joyce. But what happens if Joyce comes out victorious? What opportunities await him?
“If I win, I’d be right in line for when the mandatories get called. The WBA, IBF, then WBO in that order. If I could get the title back, I’d be in line for my mandatory for the WBO.”
One might wonder: Is this a hint at a future showdown with Usyk? It’s not just a hypothetical question for fans and pundits, it’s a possibility that Joyce himself acknowledges.
Tickets to see the heavyweight clash between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce at the OVO Arena, Wembley on Saturday 23 September, go on general sale at midday on Friday 30 June from AXS.com.