Home Boxing News Frank Warren urges Joe Joyce to consider retirement after latest knockout loss

Frank Warren urges Joe Joyce to consider retirement after latest knockout loss

Joe Joyce with Frank Warren

The promoter of heavyweight Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-2 (14) has urged his boxer to consider hanging up his gloves after consecutive knockout losses to Chinese southpaw Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang 26-1-1 (21) this year.

The 38-year-old Brit was stopped in the sixth round in April when a badly damaged right eye forced an early end to their first contest.

In their rematch at Wembley Stadium in London, England on Saturday, Joyce was badly knocked out by a right hook in the dying seconds of the third round.

“Fighters lose and come back,” Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren said. “I’ve seen that on many occasions. He’s 38, but he’s not got a lot of miles on the clock as far as being a pro boxer is concerned. It was his 16th or 17th fight. We’ll see. It’s up to him.

“He seriously needs to consider [retirement] because it’s not going to be an easy journey back. There are some good fights out there but none of those fights are easy.”

Joyce came in at a career-high weight of 281-pounds for the rematch, a remarkable 25-pounds heavier than their first bout. The feeling in the Joyce camp was that he got bullied by the bigger Zhang in April, who weighed 278-pounds for the first fight and 287-pounds for the second go round, but the extra weight ended up doing him no favours.

Still, Warren said there were things to like about Joyce’s performance and indicated he would continue back Joyce if he chooses to continue on with his career.

“He was doing alright up to the first two rounds,” the Queensberry Promotions boss said. “He was negating the southpaw style of Zhang but unfortunately [he had a] lapse of concentration and things moved the other way. He had a little bit of an exchange and got caught with a world-class punch. It was a world-class knockout.”

Meanwhile, Joyce has made it clear he wants to box on.

“Zhang is a great fighter and he is a great southpaw,” said Joyce. “He’s a former [Olympic] silver medalist and he’s probably avoided by most, so it was probably a bit too far of a risk because I’m not used to fighting southpaws.

“I hadn’t fought a southpaw for a long time. But yeah, he’s a great fighter… and he’s avoided for a reason. [I’m] just disappointed because I got myself into the position I was and then it was obviously a risk too far and I paid the price.

“I’m gonna have to talk with my team and see what’s the best route. Obviously I’m disappointed. I’ll have to reflect and watch the fight back and see what mistakes I made.

“But hats off to Zhang, he’s a great fighter. And I’m sure he’s gonna be in some great fights next, but I’m gonna have to rebuild and yeah, come back and go a different route.”