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Joe Joyce ready for Zhilei Zhang rematch on September 23 after lessons learned

After suffering his first defeat, Joe Joyce is eager to get right back on the horse to restore his previous momentum.

Joe Joyce says he’s not willing to compromise as he’s determined to win back his interim WBO title.
Joe Joyce says he’s not willing to compromise as he’s determined to win back his interim WBO title.
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Joy Joyce didn’t take a whole lot of time before he decided to activate an immediate rematch clause with Zhilei Zhang, who stopped him in six rounds the first time around, with the second fight set for September 23 at Wembley Arena. As Joyce tells Sky Sports, this immediate rematch is his chance to get back where he was prior to facing Zhang, when he had lots of momentum going for him.

“I’m coming back to take back what’s mine,” Joyce said. “September 23 I am leaving everything in that ring. No compromises. No underestimating my opponent. Nothing, but a win.”

Leading into the first meeting with Zhang, Joyce was hopeful that a successful outing there would lead him right into a much bigger fight against either Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk. Of course, now that he’s lost that fight he is in a position where he has to reassert himself as a worthy challenger, which he fully intends to do by beating the man who beat him.

“Last time out I lost my undefeated professional record. It was hard to take. But after the dust settled, all that will do is make me better. I’ve learned lessons. I’m ready. And I am coming for everything.”

Joyce’s promoter Frank Warren also emphasizes the importance of this rematch, indicating that because of rotation system for mandatory challengers, a shot at the unified champion (Usyk) as the WBO mandatory has yet to be called. That means the winner of this rematch will be directly in line to contend against the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois.

That opportunity in and of itself is providing Joyce and Zhang just about all the motivation they need for September’s sequel.

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