As Joe Joyce is set for a rematch against Zhilei Zhang on September 23, with an opportunity to win one back over the man who stopped him in April, Joyce tells Sky Sports that he’s looking forward to the chance to rebound.
After all, Joyce still has designs on becoming a world champion and a win over Zhang not only brings him the WBO interim title, but places him in position to contend for the full world title held by Oleksandr Usyk.
And while Filip Hgrovic is expected to be next in line to challenge unified champion Usyk, Joyce has a little time to get everything in order, making this rematch with Zhang all the more important.
“It puts me back in the mix in terms of the mandatories. The WBO gets called after the IBF which is up next. So I can get my shot in,” Joyce said. “I’m coming to take back what’s mine and take back that WBO Interim so then I can carry on my journey and become heavyweight champion of the world.”
Joyce reflects on his loss to Zhang earlier this year and admits that he perhaps overlooked him a bit, expecting to get him out of there one way or another. That, of course, never happened, and set the 37-year-old Joyce back a bit.
But in this rematch Joyce says things will be different because he’s fully aware of the task in front of him and is fully switched on to take care of the business. And even though Joyce took some serious eye damage against Zhang, he still draws confidence in the fact that he was still able to land some of his own good punches, and says he believes the results will flip this go ‘round.