Zhilei Zhang dominates Joe Joyce, in what was a very one-sided affair; very much to the dismay of the public, as Joyce was the favourite by a wide margin.

Both fighters come to the centre of the ring, Zhang immediately begins setting up his left-crosses down the middle, even throwing them from within the pocket, Zhang’s committed head assault results in Joyce developing a swelling, which worsens during the course of the match.

Joyce is rocked in the second round and stumbles, but prevents himself from being knocked-down, Joyce attempts to comeback in the third round and other segments of the match with combinations in bursts, but there simply isn’t enough power behind each punch to gain Zhang’s respect.

Joyce’s lack of movement, both head and feet, was a massive component to this match; Joyce was not able to effectively establish the jab, and he was an incredibly easy target to hit. Zhang’s superior hand-speed and ring-craft, allowed him to dominate from the first bell; Zhang also had the superior guard, which was proving to be a hard nut to crack for Joyce.

What I think this fight shows, is Joyce’s lack of experience in dealing with southpaws, particularly, large and powerful southpaws with Zhang’s stature. I can’t say for sure that a rematch has been scheduled at the time of writing this article, but I don’t think Joyce will win the rematch, Joyce will be better off avoiding Zhang, I also think Usyk would thoroughly outbox Joyce, which is what we saw in the WSB in 2013; this was a long time ago, but Usyk has only improved as a boxer since; Joyce on the hand, is very rudimentary in terms of his boxing fundamentals.

Joyce’s well-earned reputation for ruggedness and having an excellent engine, did not serve him in this match-up, as there is simply only too much punishment someone can take before enough is enough.

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