Joe Joyce should have his hands full tomorrow as he’s set to rematch Zhilei Zhang who should be plenty confident after the way he stopped Joyce the first time around. Joyce, however, appears to be plenty confident himself that he’ll be able to vindicate himself over Zhang, and thinks he could be in the running for an Oleksandr Usyk fight with a win as he would then hold the WBO’s interim title.
“I’m hopeful, once I get the title back, that it will be Usyk next,” Joyce told Sky Sports on Thursday. But the way heavyweight boxing is right now, I’m not 100 per cent sure. Definitely getting the title back will put me in good stead, and it then becomes a more likely scenario to fight Usyk.”
Joyce goes on to admit that while it was a little difficult to get over the heartbreak of suffering his first defeat when he was on the cusp of world title aspirations, most of that all faded away once he found himself back in the gym.
According to Joyce, he’s been spending a lot of time addressing mistakes he’s previously made, and has noticed improvements along the way. If Joyce has in fact improved since he last fought Zhang, he’s going to have to demonstrate that tomorrow as another loss here would be an even bigger setback.