'It would be a long road back and a long road back you can’t afford at the age of 38.' - David Haye warns Joe Joyce before the Joyce vs Zhang 2
David Haye expresses concern about Joe Joyce’s future in the heavyweight division if he experiences another defeat at the hands of Zhilei Zhang this weekend in Joyce vs Zhang 2 bout. Joyce, earlier this year, faced his first professional loss when Zhang stopped him in a surprising turn of events. As they prepare for Joyce vs Zhang 2, another loss could have dire consequences for Joyce.
Before their initial encounter, Joyce held the WBO interim champion title, positioning himself for a potential future fight with the full titleholder, Oleksandr Usyk. However, the defeat against Zhang eliminated that opportunity. Haye emphasizes that if Joyce doesn’t regain that honor in their upcoming bout, it could be a challenging road ahead.
Haye shared his thoughts with the PA press agency, stating, “I believe Joe has the capability to secure a victory if he employs a smart boxing strategy. If he fails to do so, he might find himself excluded from the heavyweight division.”
He goes on to explain that it would be risky for managers or promoters to match their fighters against Joyce in minor eliminators or 10-round fights if he loses this pivotal match. Joyce’s world-class skills could potentially overwhelm younger fighters entering the division, making him a formidable opponent.
Haye underscores the challenges of a potential comeback for Joyce, especially given his age of 38. A long road back to the top may not be feasible at this stage in his career if he faces another setback in the rematch with Zhang.
“I believe Joe has enough to find a way to win if he boxes smart. If he doesn’t do that, he probably will get frozen out of the heavyweight division,” said Haye when speaking to the PA press agency.
“What manager or promoter would want to risk their guy fighting Joe in a minor eliminator or in a 10-rounder. He would be too good for his own good.
“He is a very world class fighter so young fighters coming through, he would be too much for them. No manager or promoter in their right mind would chuck their young fighter in with Joe if he loses this fight.
“It would be a long road back and a long road back you can’t afford at the age of 38.”