Zhang Aims To Beat Joyce Again, Targets Fury After Victory

Zhilei Zhang could damage Joe Joyce’s career if he manages to pull off another win against the British heavyweight. 

The two will face off on September 23rd, 2023, after Joyce exercised his right to a rematch. In the first bout, Zhang dominated his opponent as his left hand continued to land on Joyce’s eye. The end result was a sixth-round stoppage, as Joyce was unable to continue due to the excessive swelling. Thereafter, Zhang became the new WBO heavyweight interim champion, putting him in line to face Oleksandr Usyk as a mandatory for the unified heavyweight titles. Although Joyce does have a chance to gain his revenge, Zhang’s tactics for beating Joyce have been made clear.

“So, he activated the rematch and definitely analyzed the fight. I’m going to aim for his eye. I know where his weakness is at. Of course, everybody saw the eye swelling up. I’m aiming for the eye, no question,” Zhang said

A defeat for Joyce would damage his world title aspirations. At the age of 38, it would be a long way back to work himself into a mandatory position. And with the belts tied up between Usyk and Tyson Fury, who cannot agree on an undisputed fight, Joyce’s stock will fall. After all, prior to the Zhang fight, Joyce had been linked with fighting Fury. 

Zhang Wants Fury

Instead, Zhang is targeting a fight with Fury, provided that he gets past Joyce. That is according to Zhang’s manager, Terry Lane. And yet, Fury has made it clear that he has no intention of facing the best as he targets the most lucrative fights. So far, the Gypsy King has discussed the possibility of fighting Francis Ngannou in the cage following their boxing clash on October 28th, 2023. This is in addition to a potential boxing fight with Jon Jones. Facing Zhang, however, would not meet the requirements of a low-risk, high-reward fight. But if such a fight were to take place in China, then the huge fanbase could generate the sums of money that Fury is wants. Regardless, Zhang’s intentions were clear.

“If he is victorious, you really have Fury, Usyk and Zhang on top. Everyone else will be far, far beneath. If Zhilei wins, as we expect him to again, Fury is our first target,” Lane

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