Tonight in London, Joe Joyce’s once-flourishing career took a significant hit after a shocking third-round knockout by WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21 KOs).
Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) found himself on the receiving end of a powerful right hook from Zhang in the third round, marking a dramatic downturn in his boxing journey.
Alarmingly, Joyce seemed outmatched from the get-go. He appeared vulnerable in the first round and even took a beating in the second. Following the fight, a visibly disheartened Joyce pondered his next steps, suggesting a potential rematch with Daniel Dubois. However, this could seem like a step back in his career.
Joyce’s pathway now seems uncertain, with main event fights becoming less likely unless he faces a prominent heavyweight.
In a commentary, Gareth A. Davies shared his insights with Boxing King Media: “This knockout is a global sensation. Zhang exhibited speed and strategy. He took his time, noting Joyce’s moves, and responded with precision.”
He further added, “Zhang’s approach this time was different, focusing on power punches. After shaking Joyce in the second round, Zhang found his opening and delivered the KO.”
Davies speculated on Joyce’s future, “Given his previous top-contender status, coming back for a lesser payday seems unlikely. A rematch with Daniel Dubois could be possible. The future is uncertain for Joyce, especially considering his age.”
Commenting on Zhang’s power, Davies noted, “Zhang showed he can compete with the likes of Anthony Joshua. Ranking him fifth worldwide, behind Joshua, Wilder, Fury, and Usyk, he’s become a force to reckon with. A bout with Deontay Wilder might be on the horizon, promising an exciting and lucrative showdown.”
Davies concluded, hinting at Zhang’s potential future, “With his current alignment with Frank Warren and Queensberry promotions, Zhang might soon find himself fighting in Saudi Arabia.”