Posted on 02/02/2023

By: Sean Crose

This one is a reasonably fascinating heavyweight matchup to make sure. Queensbury promotions has introduced that “Joe Joyce will defend his WBO Interim World Heavyweight title in opposition to the Chinese language big Zhilei Zhang on the Copper Field Area on Saturday, 15 April, dwell on BT Sport.” Joyce has change into one of many high rising stars in boxing, a lot much less the heavyweight division after soundly beating up former world titlist Joseph Parker final October. The 15-0 Brit has received all of his fights save 1 inside the distance. A battle in London in opposition to an opponent of Zhang’s caliber is one other stable step in the suitable course for the 37 12 months outdated.

Picture: Queensbury Promotions

“It’s a nice battle,” says Joyce. “He (Zhang) had a troublesome battle in opposition to Hrgovic however I believed he received the battle. Zhang is a giant, robust southpaw who is very large, and he has been to the Olympics and all that. So, he has the expertise and I believe will probably be a terrific battle…He bangs so I should be careful for it. As Hrgovic and I’ve an identical fashion, that they had a terrific battle, so after we battle it needs to be entertaining.” The towering Zhang’s final battle noticed the American based mostly fighter – by the use of China – drop a call to Filip Hrgovic in August.

The 24-1-1 Zhang isn’t any straightforward opponent for Joyce, nonetheless. Whereas there’s little doubt Joyce is the favourite strolling in right here, Zhang is raring to not let a lone defeat flip right into a profession roadblock. “It’s a brand new chapter in my profession,” he says. “I’m all the time up for the problem when the chance rings the bell. Joe Joyce and I share quite a bit in widespread – we each are Olympic silver medalists, each are massive punchers, and are almost the identical measurement. That is going to be an explosive, epic and large battle.”

Promoter Frank Warren is raring to level out that Joyce, who’s searching for main matchups with the likes of world titlists Tyson Fury and Olesandr Usyk, is taking over a dangerous battle right here. “Zhilei Zhang is something however a straightforward contact,” Warren says. “He’s a formidable powerhouse who can think about himself unfortunate to not be nonetheless an unbeaten contender following his battle with Filip Hrgovic final 12 months.” Suffice to say, Joyce-Zhang is an especially vital battle for each males, as a victory could properly result in greater issues. A lot greater issues.

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