LONDON — British Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce has promised a comeback after suffering defeat to the interim heavyweight Champion Zhilei Zhang from China. The rematch that ended in a third round knockout for Joyce took place at the OVO Arena in London on Saturday night.
While dismissing retirement claims, the 38 year old boxer hopes to work and rebuild himself. Once heralded as the next challenger for the heavyweight title, Joyce has suffered two consecutive defeats to Zhang.
Zhang broke Joyce’s unbeaten record with a sixth round stoppage in April, and he was returning to London for a rematch with the hope of retaining the WBO ‘interim’ title.
‘I’m feeling good, I’m feeling OK,” said Joyce after the defeat.
It’s not the end of the world. I can rebuild and come back. I am going to take a bit of time to reflect and review where I went wrong.’
The Chinese boxer delivered the devastating knockout blow in the third round that broke the Englishman and left him in a state that required oxygen in the ring after the bout. Despite this, Joyce vows to make another return.
“I’m happy. Like I said before the fight, it’s going to end sooner than the first one. Joe, I like him, I respect him and I will let everyone witness Chinese power again,” said Zhang after the knock out win over Joe Joyce.
Zhang nicknamed the Big Bang retains his status as the WBO interim champion and is the mandatory challenger for the winner of a prospective fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.
Joyce had 15 consecutive victories, 14 by way of knockout, before the Zhang fights.
Edited by Virginia Van Zandt and Newsdesk Manager
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