Home Boxing News Joe Joyce: I’ve had time to rebuild

Joe Joyce: I’ve had time to rebuild

Photo credit Queensberry

Joe Joyce was the talk of the tower when he took centre stage at the HQ of Talksport on Thursday to launch the build-up for his high-stakes rematch with Zhilei Zhang at the OVO Arena, Wembley on 23 September, live on TNT Sports.

Tickets for Zhang vs Joyce II go on sale at midday today (Friday 30 June) from AXS.com.

The ‘Big Juggernaut’ will be attempting to take back the WBO Interim world heavyweight title he surrendered to ‘Big Bang Zhang’ back in March when a severe swelling to his right eye rendered him unable to continue in the view of referee Howard Foster.

Hence the return match being tagged ‘An eye for an eye’.

Joyce, 37, teamed up with his Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren at the colossal News Building on London Bridge Street in SE1, where the wheels for the Wembley heavyweight spectacular were set in motion.

“I’ve had time to rebuild, relax, let my hair down a little and reflect on what went down and what I need to do to get back on the horse and ride into the sunset!” said Joyce, who now holds a record of 15-1 (14 KOs) up against that of Zhang, 25-1-1 (20).

“It is back to the drawing board and little improvements on things, nitpicking on bits I need to get right for this next camp coming. I think, watching it back and seeing the shots thrown and landed and stuff, it was terrible for me to experience that, but it is all a learning curve.

“I have taken losses in the amateurs and came back and won a silver medal – if not, the gold – and I can do it again in the pros. I’ve got the experience and the drive.

“I don’t want to take the long route to get back for the title, all I’ve got to do is beat him and I am back in line for a mandatory shot.

“That is important to me and I want to be a world champion and I want to deliver on my dreams, goals and aspirations. That is why I am here.

“I want to be in big fights and this is a massive fight. You think fights are going to happen and they don’t, but this fight is definitely going to happen.”

Promoter Frank Warren revealed that Joyce gave no consideration to potentially forfeiting his rematch to enable Zhang to challenge WBC king Tyson Fury.

“When we first made the fight Joe was champion, with Zhilei at No.2, so Joe went straight to the guy who was his immediate challenger with no messing about,” added Warren.

“We did put a rematch clause in there and, after the fight, we weren’t sure if Joe was going to be ready because he obviously sustained quite a bad eye injury, the reason why the doctor stopped the fight. So we were talking about Zhang fighting Tyson, but Joe said no, he didn’t want anyone in the middle and wanted the rematch.

“That tells you all you need to know about Joe Joyce. Straight in there, nobody else is getting in-between, ‘I’m in, I want to win my title back’.

“That was his prerogative, he insisted on it and we delivered it for him.

“It is now up to Joe. He is a sensible guy and one of the best people I have worked with in boxing, a nice person with a great team. He knows what he’s got to do and I think he has got the capability to win his title back.

“If he does that he becomes mandatory for the WBO version of the title and whoever is holding that after the fight between Usyk and Daniel Dubois, which takes place in August.”

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 today (Friday 30 June) from AXS.com.

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