Zhang On Joyce: “If I Land The Perfect Shot His Jaw Is Going To Pieces”

Zhilei Zhang Looking To Break Joe Joyce

Zhilei Zhang says he can knockout Joe Joyce
Zhilei Zhang (L, credit: Getty Images), Joe Joyce

Zhilei Zhang Believes He Can Knock Out Joe Joyce


Zhilei Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KOs) is just days away from his April 15 battle against the reigning WBO Interim heavyweight champion Joy “The Juggernaut” Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs). Not only is Zhang confident of victory, he plans on inflicting plenty of pain on fight night.

A fast starter, Zhang talked to the British news source iFL TV about the importance of the early rounds and putting some hurt on Joyce. In his mind, if he finds a home for his power punches, he will do damage.

(translated from Chinese) “It depends on if I land the perfect shot. If I do that, if that happens, his jaw is going to pieces.”

EARNING HIS RESPECT

The last time folks saw Zhang in the ring, he lost a unanimous decision to Filip Hrgovic in August 2022 in what was an IBF heavyweight eliminator. It was a hard-fought, high-contact battle. Zhang surprised many observers with his performance as he stood toe-to-toe with the hard-hitting Hrgovic.

More than a few fans felt that Zhang deserved the verdict. It was the kind of performance in which he gained newfound admiration from the boxing community, despite not getting the decision.

He’s facing a Joyce who has arguably the best chin in the division. The WBO Interim champion is a slow starter. But once he warms up, he comes on like a tidal wave, bludgeoning his opponents and taking the fight out of them. That was the case in his last outing when he scored an eleventh-round stoppage against ex-WBO champion Joseph Parker in September 2022. Joyce’s ability to soak up punishment and chop you down often intimidated those who have been in the ring with him.

Will Zhang be the first fighter to crack the code that is Joyce’s chin and walk away with the win? That will be answered on April 15 in what is anticipated to be an entertaining contest.

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About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.