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‘He’s avoided for a reason’: Joe Joyce on second Zhilei Zhang loss, plotting comeback from back-to-back defeats

Joe Joyce says he’ll aim to come back stronger after losing again to Zhilei Zhang.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Joe Joyce says he’s not done in boxing after a knockout loss to Zhilei Zhang today, giving Zhang his full credit and saying he’ll rebuild and come back strong.

“Zhang is a great fighter, and he’s a great southpaw,” Joyce said. “He’s a fellow (Olympic) silver medalist, and he’s probably avoided by most. It was probably a bit too far of a risk.

“I’m not used to fighting southpaws, I hadn’t fought a southpaw for a long time. But he’s a great fighter and he’s avoided for a reason.

“It’s just disappointing, because I got myself into the position I was, and it obviously a risk too far, and I paid the price.”

Joyce (15-2, 14 KO) had more to say:

On his approach in the rematch

“I was a bit more concentrated on what he was throwing and (trying to warm) into the fight, doing what I’d been practicing. But he’s a difficult fighter. It’s just a risk too far. Maybe I could have gone another route, but I decided to take the challenge and I paid the price.

“But this is not it for me. There’s plenty more. I’ve got plenty more in the tank. You should see me again out there. I don’t know, I’m just going to have to have a bit of time off, reflect, watch the fight back, and come back new and improved.”

On what he might do to come back

“I’m going to have to talk to my team and see what’s the best route. Obviously I’m disappointed and have to reflect and watch the fight back and see what mistakes I made. But hats off to Zhang. He’s a great fighter and I’m sure he’s going to be in some great fights next. But I’m going to have to rebuild and come back, go a different route.”

On facing Daniel Dubois a second time

“Possibly. That’d be an interesting fight. He’s got a new coach and seems to be improving. If the people want to see it, that could be a possibility.”

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