Zhang knocked out Joyce in the third round as the latter’s adjustments from the first fight failed to make a difference. The Brit came in at a career-heaviest weight in an attempt to push back Zhang. This was accompanied by a change in style as the first round showed Joyce circling on the outside in an attempt to avoid Zhang’s left hand. However, it was ultimately the Chinese’s right hook that brought the fight to an end in spectacular fashion. And given that Zhang ended the fight a lot quicker than the sixth round in the first fight, Lane has now admitted they had been monitoring Joyce right from the off.
“We were going to bring down the guard (of Joyce). We knew he was going to move to his left. We had spies on him in Las Vegas. We knew that was all they were working on. If you’re moving to your left but you gain 25 pounds, that’s not really gonna—you’re not gonna turn into Muhammad Ali in there. Listen, we were prepared for all that. Nothing was a surprise tonight. We were shocked at how heavy he was,” Lane stated
Whether the absence of monitoring would have made a difference to the outcome of the fight is anyone’s guess. However, in the meantime, Zhang had shown his win was not a one-off. And that victory has put him in line for the biggest fights, as bouts with Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk could occur later down the line.