Home Boxing News Joe Joyce set to return with renewed focus against Zhilei Zhang on...

Joe Joyce set to return with renewed focus against Zhilei Zhang on September 23

Zihlei Zhang (right) lands on Joe Joyce. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Heavyweight contender Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-1 (14) is confident he can right the wrong in his rematch against Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang 25-1-1 (20) at Wembley Arena in London, England on September 23.

Joyce was largely beat up by Chinese southpaw Zhang, 40, before he was stopped in the sixth round due to damage to his right eye in London in April.

The 37-year-old Brit says things will be different the second time around.

“I’m feeling good, pumped, ready, switched on,” Joyce told TNT Sports. “I’m a bit heavier than before and more experienced. I know what to do this time around.

“It’s a long time since the other fight but looking back there were mistakes that were made in the fight and in the camp and they were all exposed and nitpicked.

“I am coming in a lot more dedicated and focused this time, I’ve had a bit more practice with the southpaw style in terms of sparring and tactics going into this fight.”

The extra weight will be a benefit to Joyce, who was outweighed by Zhang by 22 pounds. His weight of 256 pounds was 15 pounds lighter than his previous bout against Joseph Parker.

“I felt like I was a bit light,” Joyce admitted. “There was something in my diet that wasn’t really agreeing with me and I think it was tough to keep the weight on.

“I felt Zhang was a lot heavier and he’s kind of hard to push back, but now that I’m heavier I think I’ll be able to do a bit more and not get pushed back as much.

“I think I was a bit surprised by his accuracy and speed. It was very good and maybe I took my eye off the ball as well and was thinking about steps ahead. Also, the media were building me up as this indestructible juggernaut.

“Zhilei stopped me in my tracks. You live and learn and from it I’ve been more dedicated and more focused to push on and get the title back.”

Former two-weight world champion turned pundit Carl Frampton believes Joyce will be able to get one back over Zhang.

“I think revenge,” Frampton said to Boxing News. “I think that Joe was very, very poor in the first fight, he’s admitted that. It looked like he’d never seen a southpaw in his life, never mind prepared properly with southpaws in training.

“With small adjustments – he doesn’t even have to do anything major – he can reverse that and win the fight. I fancied him in the first fight but I got it wrong. But I think he will win this fight.

“There were signs in the first fight, although the eye was badly swollen and Joe was getting hit a lot, there were signs that Zhang was tiring just a little bit when the stoppage came. Joe was having a wee bit of success, obviously with one eye shut as well.

“I think he can win this fight and I think that he will stop Zhang late.”