Joe Joyce vs. Zhilei Zhang – History and Boxing Schedule

Joe Joyce and Zhilei Zhang are professional heavyweight boxers. They have both achieved success in their careers, winning multiple international titles, and are known for their punching power and technical ability in the ring.

In this blog, we look at the history of both fighters, their past matches, and their upcoming boxing schedule.

About Joe Joyce

Joe Joyce is a British professional heavyweight boxer. He is known for his powerful punching and aggressive style in the ring. He has won several regional and national titles and represented England in the amateur ranks. 

Joe succeeded as an amateur and won a bronze medal at the 2013 European Championships and 2015 World Championships, gold at the 2014 Commonwealth and 2015 European Games, and silver at the 2016 Olympic Games.

He is rated as the second-best active heavyweight in the world as of October 2022 by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, fourth by The Ring magazine, sixth by ESPN, and seventh by BoxRec. He presently has a 93% knockout-to-win percentage and has won all his fights, with the exception of one by way of stoppage. 

Further, he is regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the world and has held the WBO interim heavyweight belt since December 2022. He is renowned for his incredible punching power, relentless pace, and granite chin.

Commonwealth Heavyweight Title
Defeated by Lenroy Thomas The O2 Arena, London, England
Vacant WBA Continental Heavyweight Title
Defeated by Joe Hanks Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, US
Retained WBA Gold Heavyweight Title
Defeated by Bryant Jennings The O2 Arena, London, England

 

About Zhilei Zhang

Zhilei Zhang is a Chinese professional boxer born on May 2, 1983. Zhang was ranked as one of the top heavyweight contenders by several boxing organizations and had an impressive record of 24 wins, 1 loss, and 19 knockouts. In 2007, he won a bronze medal and silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. 

He was able to compete in the 2012 London Olympics but was defeated on points in the quarterfinals by British boxer Anthony Joshua, who would go on to win the title of undisputed heavyweight champion. 

Look at the table below and learn about Zhang’s boxing career.

2008 Olympic Games Results (Super Heavyweight)
Defeated Mohamed Amanissi Morocco (15-0)
Defeated Ruslan Myrsatayev  Kazakhstan (12-2)
Defeated Vyacheslav Glazkov           Ukraine (walk-over)
Lost to Roberto Cammarelle Italy (RSCO)
2012 Olympic Games Results (Super Heavyweight)
Defeated Johan Linde             Australia (RSCO)
Lost to Anthony Joshua Great Britain (11-15)

 

2003 World Championships Results (Super Heavyweight)
Lost to Grzegorz Kiełsa  Poland (8-22)
2005 World Championships Results  (Super Heavyweight)
Defeated Vugar Alekperov  Azerbaijan (20-11)
Lost to Odlanier Solis  Cuba (7-17)
2007 World Championships Results (Super Heavyweight)
Defeated Nurpais Torobekov  Kyrgyzstan (RSCO)
Defeated Rustam Rygebayev Kazakhstan (20-10)
Defeated Daniel Beahan Australia (KO 2)
Lost to Vyacheslav Glazkov Ukraine (11-21)
2009 World Championships Results (Super Heavyweight)
Defeated Primislav Dimovski  Macedonia (6-2)
Lost to Roman Kapitanenko  Ukraine (2-5)

 

Joe Joyce vs. Zhilei Zhang Match

It was officially announced on February 2, 2023, that Joyce would defend his WBO interim championship for the first time on April 15, 2023, at the Copper Box Arena in London, England, against southpaw challenger Zhang Zhilei.

The winner of this fight could face the victor of the undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Therefore Joyce, who holds the WBO interim world heavyweight belt, will try to stay in shape.

The “Big Juggernaut” Joyce, 15-0 (14 KOs), will make his first defense of the title after thrillingly defeating Joseph Parker in Manchester in September of last year. Joyce established himself as the top candidate for a shot at the full WBO title with that win.

Several established and up-and-coming stars from Queensberry will be added to the undercard, which will be revealed in due course. This year Oleksandr Usyk is expected to fight against WBC ruler Tyson Fury. 

The last time “Big Bang” Zhang competed was in an IBF final eliminator in Jeddah in August, where he faced off against the Croatian Filip Hrgovic. Zhang has a record of 24-1-1 (19 KOs). The judges’ scorecards gave the 39-year-old the loss, but many commentators thought he had won due to his early dominance.

On the southpaw fighter’s first professional trip to the capital, the Chinese fighter now has the chance to put himself back in the running for the world championship.

Terry Lane, Zhang’s manager, said, “This is a terrific fight for boxing and a great opportunity for Zhilei”. 

WBO Interim Heavyweight Champion

Joe Joyce vs. Joseph Parker

Joyce headlined a BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view show against former WBO champion Joseph Parker on September 24, 2022, at the AO Arena in Manchester.   

Joyce was fighting largely on the front foot and used his jab to set up his attacks, and Parker could work off the back foot and find some success with the overhand right and left hook. Also, Joyce opened a cut above his eye and could bloody Parker’s nose. 

Parker could raise his feet in the eleventh round, but the referee considered it unsafe and halted the fight to declare Joyce the winner of the eleventh round. As a result, Joyce becomes the first man to stop Parker, who had never been knocked out.  

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