LONDON — British Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce is set to face the WBO interim heavyweight Champion from China, Zhilei Zhang in a rematch at the OVO Arena in London on Saturday night.
According to the Daily Mail, The 38-year-old British heavyweight dropped a drastic amount of weight ahead his first fight with Zhang in April – tipping the scales over a stone lighter than in his previous bout.
“Joyce, who was visibly leaner as he took to the scales at the weigh-in, came in 15lbs lighter then his fight with Joseph Parker – then tipping the scales at 271.6lbs, six pounds heavier than his fight against Christian Hammer before that,” said the Daily Mail.
‘No there wasn’t [a reason behind coming in much lighter than his previous fight]. I had a pre-camp before Christmas which was a three week training camp. That went well and then over Christmas, I wasn’t eating badly and I was being active so when I went into camp I was already at fight weight,” said Joyce in an exclusive with Mail Sport.
According to Boxing News 24, the WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang feels that Joe Joyce is making a “big mistake” by facing him in a rematch on Saturday night.
Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) thinks that his sixth round TKO loss to Zhang (25-1-1,20 KOs) last April was a product of the wrong preparation by coming in too light at 256 lbs and not using enough head movement to get out of the way of the two-time Chinese Olympian’s left hands, which closed up his right eye.
“It’s very important for me and for my country because there was never a Chinese heavyweight world champion. I believe I created history in April, and I’m going to do it again in September,” Zhang said in earlier reports.
Zhang Motivated For Second Fight “It’s not pressure for me, but motivation for a guy out of China. We have the tradition of hard-working, and we have the tradition of not giving up. This is pride for my country,” said Zhang. “We’re not fixing something that’s not broken. When you put a car in a dealership. Oiling it but not fixing it. A better engine and that’s not fixing, and that’s what I do. I keep improving in all different levels,” he added.
The rematch with WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang will take place on Saturday, September 23 at London’s OVO Arena Wembley. The match will stream live on ESPN+.
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