Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce's rematch is set to take place on Saturday 23rd September, with Joyce aiming to win back the WBO interim heavyweight title he lost in April.
Zhang upset the odds to inflict Joyce's first-ever professional defeat on the Briton at London's Copper Box Arena after damage to the Londoner's eye saw the bout stopped inside six rounds.
|What||Zhilei Zhang v Joe Joyce 2|
|Where||Wembley Arena, London|
|When||Saturday 23rd September 2023|
|How to watch||TNT Sports|
|Odds||Zhilei Zhang 4/5, Joe Joyce|
Back in April when I wrote the Tale of the Tape for the first Joyce v Zhang fight, the Chinese heavyweight was 6/1 to win and Joyce was a huge 1/10 favourite.
In my prediction, I said: '6/1 is a tempting price for Zhang to win the fight outright but in the end, I think we will witness a valiant effort and a painful defeat at the hands of Joyce after 12 punishing rounds.’
Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to get my prediction wrong. No one anticipated a stoppage in the sixth round for Joyce.
It was a punishing bout for Joyce throughout from start to finish. Zhang continually popped out punches from his southpaw stance which Joyce could not deal with. The result was a badly injured right eye which the ringside physician deemed reason enough to advise the referee to stop the fight.
‘The Juggernaut’ had seemed unstoppable, punching through opponents on his way to a certain world title shot. ‘Big Bang’ Zhang burst Joyce’s ambitions, and goes into the September 23 rematch as a slight favourite.
Joyce is faced with a difficult proposition and improvements to make if he is to avoid a similar fate. It will be fascinating to see if he has what it takes.
View the latest odds for Zhilei Zhang v Joe Joyce 2
The rematch has been given a date of Saturday 23rd September 2023.
The official undercard should start sometime around 17:00, while Joyce and Zhang are expected to make their way to the ring around 22:00.
This, of course, could change depending on the length of the undercard fights.
Joyce and Zhang will go head-to-head for the second time at London's Wembley Arena.
The 12,500-seat venue is London's second-largest indoor arena after The O2 and the ninth-largest in the UK.
Wembley Arena has hosted plenty of big boxing bouts down the years and heavyweight stars of the past and present, including Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, David Haye and Tyson Fury, have all fought there.
Yes. The fight will be shown live in the UK by TNT Sports, the new name for BT Sport.
The draw is a 16/1 chance.
Zhang is defending the WBO interim world heavyweight title he won off Joyce in April, as the latter looks to reclaim what had been his since September 2022.
The Brit first won the strap after beating Joseph Parker and whoever comes out on top at Wembley is set to fight the winner of the planned August bout between current world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and his next challenger, Daniel Dubois.
Joyce's only blemish of his professional career is the April defeat to Zhang.
Before that 'Juggernaut' had won all of his 15 fights since joining the professional ranks.
The 37-year-old turned professional later than others, only making his debut in 2017. His first nine fights all ended early, including an impressive victory over former WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne in 2019.
Joyce has won 14 fights by knockout and only Bryant Jennings has managed to take him to the final bell.
The Brit has achieved impressive victories during his career, stopping Daniel Dubois, Carlos Takam, Christian Hammer and Parker.
His victory over Parker was his biggest to date, dismantling the former world champion in Manchester last year before he suffered the upset against Zhang.
Chinese boxer Zhang is similar to Joyce in that he also only turned professional after a long and successful amateur career.
The 40-year-old first fought as a pro in 2014, beating Curtis Lee Tate in Fallon, Nevada, USA.
He has fought 27 times professionally in total, winning 25, losing once and drawing one of his contests when Jerry Forrest salvaged a draw in 2021.
His only defeat came in a controversial bout in August 2022 when he looked to have done enough against Croatia's Filip Hrgovic, but the latter got the decision.
As a southpaw, Zhang caused Joyce plenty of problems before the first fight was stopped and the victory ranks as the biggest of his career so far.
|Zhilei Zhang (4/5) v Joe Joyce (1/1)||WBO Interim Heavyweight title fight|
|Anthony Yarde v Jorge Silva||Light-heavyweight bout|
|Pierce O'Leary v Kane Gardner||WBC International super-lightweight title|
|Zach Parker v Khalid Graidia||Super-middleweight bout|
|Moses Itauma v Amine Boucetta||Heavyweight bout|
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Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.