The ‘Juggernaut’ was on the back end of a one-sided affair, as the referee called time on the bout following Zhang’s dominant display, with fears over the state of Joyce’s eye.
In the process of doing so, Zhang became the WBO mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Usyk. There had been doubts about whether Joyce would take the rematch immediately, as the possibility of an interim fight was also mooted.
Not only that, but there were reports that Zhang and Tyson Fury were in talks over a possible fight. Therefore, if Zhang and Fury were to face off, there would have to be some step-aside money for Joyce.
But for now it appears that Joyce has his eyes set on righting his wrong.
— Joe Joyce (@JoeJoyceBoxing) May 9, 2023
And yet, another defeat for Joyce would totally put him out of the picture for a world title fight. There had been suggestions that Fury and Joyce could fight prior to the latter’s defeat to Zhang.
As such, another defeat for Joyce could all but end his world-title ambitions following reports that a four-man heavyweight tournament could take place in Saudi Arabia, thus tying up the belts.
With that being said, it is make or break for Joyce.