Joe Joyce Fueled By Championship Dreams in Zhang Rematch
All athletes are fueled by motivation. That is certainly the case for Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) ahead of his September 23 rematch with reigning WBO Interim heavyweight champion Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (25-1-1, 15 KOs). Joyce has one thing on his mind, and that’s getting back on track to a world title.
Joyce and Zhang previously fought on April 15, with Joyce entering as the Interim champion. Several pundits predicted victory for the fighter from London, England. But it was Zhang who came away with a surprising sixth-round stoppage win.
FUELED BY DEFEAT
Speaking to Sky Sports, Joyce talked about the significance of this upcoming bout and what’s on the line.
“It puts me back in the mix in terms of the mandatories. The WBO gets called after the IBF, which is up next. So I can get my shot in.
I’m coming to take back what’s mine and take back that WBO Interim, so then I can carry on my journey and become heavyweight champion of the world.”
In their first encounter, Big Bang landed repeatedly with his straight left hand. That punch ended up swelling the right eye of Joyce. The damage to Joyce was so severe that it impaired his vision and caused his ultimate demise.
For the rematch, Juggernaut must find a way to combat the southpaw style and the accurate left hands of Zhang. He is promising that he will be a different fighter, and the result will end up in his favor.
“Obviously, he was very fast and accurate with the left [back] hand and the counter shots. But this time, it’s going to be different because I’m more motivated and switched on than ever . . . I think I’m going to get it this time.”
Can Joyce make the adjustments and have a reversal of fortune? He has no choice if he wants to win and get back into world title contention. The big man from London is hungry to take care of business against Zhang on September 23.