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‘Joe Joyce made Zhang look like Sonny Liston’: Eddie Hearn says he’s not afraid to match Anthony Joshua against Zhilei Zhang

The Matchroom promoter says Joy Joyce clearly doesn’t have the punch resistance he used to, and as a fan would probably like to see him retire.

Eddie Hearn says if the money is right he’s willing to consider matching Anthony Joshua against Zhilei Zhang.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

During an interview following a press conference today, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he isn’t hesitant to put Anthony Joshua in the ring with Zhilei Zhang so long as there’s sufficient money in the fight. Hearn believes Joyce made Zhang look much better than he thinks he and says it’ll be interesting to see where Zhang goes from here.

On Zhang vs Joyce 2

“Joe Joyce made Zhang look like Sonny Liston, a southpaw Sonny Liston, and I think it’s gonna be interesting to see what he does next. 100% open to that fight [against Joshua]. If there’s money for that fight, we’ll definitely look at it.”

On if he agrees with Tony Bellew saying Joyce’s punch resistance is gone

“I don’t know gone completely, but nowhere near what it used to be. And I don’t like saying a fighter should retire, it’s not really my business. If you’re asking me as a fan, yes, I think Joe Joyce should retire.

“I think his punch resistance is not what it was and when you’ve got a fighter that fights with his face and that’s his biggest attribute, and that goes, he hasn’t got any other attribute. He’s not fast, ain’t got good feet, he doesn’t throw breathtaking combinations. He’s just really tough with a great chin. But that’s gone.

“So now it becomes dangerous...people keep saying Joshua against Joe Joyce — no disrespect, Joshua’s a different animal to Zhang. Speed, combinations. That would be frightening to watch. And Joe Joyce had a great career, but he’s got fights left with Frank Warren. That’s why Frank Warren gave a savage interview after the fight where he basically said ‘Joe’s retiring, and I’ve got Zhilei Zhang, we’ll announce his next fight soon.’”

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