'I think he will stop Zhang late' - Carl Frampton Gives His Prediction About Joyce vs Zhang Rematch
In what is undoubtedly the most significant fight of his career, Joe Joyce is gearing up for a rematch against Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang. The first bout with ‘Big Bang,’ who employs a southpaw stance and delivers powerful, precise punches, ended in Joyce’s defeat, with his eye dangerously swollen by the sixth round.
Not only did Joyce lose his previously unbeaten record in that fight, but he also forfeited his mandatory position for a world title shot. However, he promptly activated the rematch clause in a bid to reclaim his mandatory status.
Carl Frampton, a former two-weight world champion turned boxing pundit, is voicing his support for the British fighter in this rematch. Frampton believes that Joyce has what it takes to come out victorious this time around.
“I think revenge. I think that Joe was very, very poor in the first fight, he’s admitted that. It looked like he’d never seen a southpaw in his life, never mind prepared properly with southpaws in training.
With small adjustments – he doesn’t even have to do anything major – he can reverse that and win the fight. I fancied him in the first fight but I got it wrong. But I think he will win this fight.”
Frampton also pointed out that, despite Joyce facing adversity early in the first fight and his eye swelling, there were indications that the momentum was shifting in his favor.
“There were signs in the first fight, although the eye was badly swollen and Joe was getting hit a lot, there were signs that Zhang was tiring just a little bit when the stoppage came. Joe was having a wee bit of success, obviously with one eye shut as well.
I think he can win this fight and I think that he will stop Zhang late.”
The prevailing consensus among boxing enthusiasts is that if Joyce can weather the storm in the first half of the fight, his exceptional stamina could prove advantageous against the 39-year-old Zhang. This notion is supported by Zhang’s previous bout against Filip Hrgovic, where he also showed signs of fatigue.
However, the initial six rounds present a real challenge for Joyce, as he needs to find a way to evade Zhang’s potent straight left hand, which was highly effective in their first encounter.
These two formidable heavyweights will face off again for the WBO Interim Heavyweight Championship on September 23 in London.