Home Boxing News Zhilei Zhang walks through Joe Joyce again, wants Tyson Fury next

Zhilei Zhang walks through Joe Joyce again, wants Tyson Fury next

Zhilei Zhang (right) knocked out Joe Joyce in the third round of their rematch. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang 26-1-1 (21) has demanded a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24) after knocking out Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-2 (14) for the second time at Wembley Stadium in London, England on Saturday night.

Five months earlier the 40-year-old Chinese southpaw busted up Joyce’s face to force the stoppage in the sixth round when the ringside physician determined the 37-year-old Brit’s right eye was too badly damaged to continue.

This time around Zhang went one better, knocking out Joyce with a right hook at the end of the third stanza.

The opening round was a cagey one with both big men circling and feinting with their jabs. Things opened up a little more in the second as Zhang began to find his range.

In the third Zhang threw a left to the body followed by a right hook upstairs that connected flush on Joyce’s chin, sending him crashing face first to the canvas. After much effort he finally made it to his feet, still reeling and clearly dazed, forcing referee Steve Gray to call off the contest.

CompuBox had Zhang landed 57% of his power punches (13/23) in the third round prior to landing the fight-ending punch after landing 52% of his power punches (14/27) in the second round. Joyce threw almost as many power punches as Zhang, but only connected at a 12% (6/52) rate.

Joyce insisted he had made the necessary adjustments in the gym to beat Zhang in their rematch, but whatever changes he made didn’t show on fight night. Weighing in at a career high 281-pounds – a full 25-pounds heavier than their first bout – served no real purpose at all as he remained far to easy to hit.

Zhang has stamped his credentials as a genuine heavyweight contender in the past year or so and now he wants to cash in his ticket.

“I’m happy, I’m happy. Like I said before the fight, it’s going to end sooner than the first fight. I did it,” Zhang said after the victory.

“Joe, hell of a fighter. I like him, I respect him. I let everyone witness Chinese power again.

“This is what we’re here for, we’re professional fighters. We came here to entertain the crowd, we’re performers.

“I want to ask the audience a question: Do you want to see me shut Tyson Fury up?”

Any fight with Fury will have to wait until next year at the earliest with the 35-year-old self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ set to face boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a 10-round non-title bout in Saudi Arabia on October 30.

A more viable option may well prove to be a shot at unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) as Zhang remains the number one contender to the 36-year-old Ukrainian southpaw’s WBO crown.