Zhilei Zhang Pulls Off An Upset By Stopping Joe Joyce In The Sixth Round

In his quest for a world championship title opportunity, Joe Joyce experienced a significant setback when he faced a shocking sixth-round-stoppage loss against Zhilei Zhang to lose his WBO interim belt.

In the opening round, Zhang stunned Joyce with a powerful left hook. The Chinese penetrated Joyce’s guard again with a powerful uppercut that jolted the Juggernauts’ head backward.

In the second, Zhang nearly knocked Joyce down with a powerful right-left combo, causing him to stagger towards the ropes. Joyce’s nose started to bleed from the sustained attacks, and his eye began to swell.

Joyce aimed to start faster, but Zhang continued to be an equal competitor, delivering another massive left hook against Joyce’s famously resilient jaw.

Zhang persistently battered Joyce’s face, compelling him to endure an additional precise combo prior to being pushed aside by a crisp left hook as the round concluded.

During the break in rounds, the referee requested Joyce’s team to examine his eye on two occasions.

The referee ultimately had to intervene and call off the bout, giving Zhang a shocking victory, who now becomes the mandatory to face Oleksandr Usyk.

Post Fights Comments

“I am disappointed with my performance. It was a good fight, but I could have done better. “I have not fought against a southpaw for so long. Credit to him.

“He is a good fighter and I gave it my all. But I expected to win. I would like to apologise to all my fans and my supporters. I will be back and my journey is not over,” Joyce

“Today is mine. Today belongs to me, belongs to everyone who showed up, belongs to every Chinese who showed up. I’m 39 years old, but I’m disciplined, I train hard and next step I go for the title,” Zhang

Official Result: Zhilei Zhang def. Joe Joyce via a sixth-round TKO

Co-Main Event

Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KOs) made a triumphant comeback, overcoming her last-minute replacement, Lucy Wildheart (10-2, 4 KOs) in an unexpectedly close ten-round unanimous verdict to win the WBC interim world lightweight championship.

In the initial stages of the bout, Mayer experienced difficulty as she received numerous right-hands from Wildheart.

However, during the latter half of the contest, Wildheart became exhausted, resulting in a decrease in the power behind her punches.

Overall, it wasn’t an impressive showing by Mayer, as her inadequate defense was concerning as a fight with Katie Taylor looks some way off.

Official Result: Mikaela Mayer def. Lucy Wildheart via a unanimous decision: 98-92, 100-90, 98-91

Main Card

Moses Itauma def. K. Dovbyshchenko on points: 60-54

Sam Noakes def. Karthik Sathish Kumar via TKO/KO in the second round

Denzel Bentley def. Kieran Smith via TKO/KO in the first round

Eithan James def. Georgi Velichkov on points: 60-54

Preliminary Results

Sonny Ali def. Richard Helm on points: 60-54

Freezy MacBones def. Darryl Sharp on points: 40-36

Joel Kodua def. Dale Arrowsmith on points: 40-36


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