Friday, December 1, 2023
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Boxing Preview: Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KO’s) vs Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce (15-1, 14 KO’s)

On September 23, the OVO Arena, Wembley, will host the thrilling rematch between heavyweight titans Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang and Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce, with live-action streaming on TNT Sports. Fight fans in the US can catch the actin live on ESPN+

The duo first locked horns this past April at the Copper Box Arena where Zhang clinched the WBO Interim Heavyweight World Championship title. Zhang’s win disrupted Joyce’s undefeated streak as referee Howard Foster ended the fight in the sixth round due to significant swelling around Joyce’s right eye.

Now based in New York, Zhang boasts an impressive record of 25-1-1 (20 KOs) and aims to maintain his standing among the heavyweight elite. Before he does that, however, he’ll have to counter the formidable Joyce, holding a 15-1 (14 KOs) record, who is keen on regaining his lost title and returning to the top of the WBO rankings

Speaking about the upcoming rematch, Zhang shared his fresh outlook: “I made history in our last bout. And I believe the best way to honor history is by making new ones. I approach the rematch as a brand new fight and see Joyce as if we’ve never fought before. I’ve reset to zero and am bringing my new self to the ring.”

Joyce, meanwhile, is driven by redemption: “I’m returning to reclaim what’s rightfully mine. On September 2nd, I’m giving it my all in the ring. No compromises. No underestimation of my opponent. My eyes are set on nothing but a win.”

Promoter Frank Warren underscored the significance of the rematch. “Joe knows the extent of the challenge Zhang presented at the Copper Box, and he has a lot to learn from that to turn the tables. But he understands what needs to be done, and his immediate future hangs on regaining his position as the WBO Interim world champion.”

Warren also alluded to the potential opportunities Joyce could secure post-victory, like challenging current champion Oleksandr Usyk or Daniel Dubois.

Anthony “Beast from the East” Yarde is set to lace up his gloves against fellow Brit Ricky Summers on September 23. This clash is part of the much-awaited fight card headlined by the heavyweight showdown between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce, at the electric OVO Arena in Wembley. The entire spectacle will be brought to your living room courtesy of TNT Sports.

Yarde, the ever-resilient contender, won over the boxing world in January when he faced off against Artur Beterbiev, the unified world light heavyweight champion, in a fiercely competitive bout. Despite Yarde’s corner throwing in the towel in the eighth round, his dogged determination and sheer force of will left an indelible mark on the spectators.

Meanwhile, Summers enters the ring fresh off his victory over Joel McIntyre, an achievement that earned him the English light heavyweight title. This win has no doubt bolstered his self-assuredness as he prepares for the fight against Yarde.

The fight card is stacked with other thrilling encounters, with Sam Noakes and Pierce O’Leary each defending their respective Commonwealth lightweight and super lightweight titles. There’s also an intriguing light heavyweight contest pitting the flamboyant Ezra Taylor against Joel McIntyre, a matchup promising no shortage of excitement.

Other attractions include Royston Barney-Smith, the two-time European Amateur champion, ready for his seventh professional bout. And in a captivating subplot, social media rivals Tommy Fletcher and Aloys Jr will settle their online disputes in the ring, amplifying the night’s drama.

Tickets for the heavyweight rematch between Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce go on general sale from midday on Friday, June 30, at Note that as of July 18th, BT Sport will be transitioning to its new name, TNT Sports.

5-Hour Energy

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