Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce (15-0) will make the first defence of his WBO ‘Interim’ heavyweight title against Chinese heavy hitter, Zhilei ‘Big Bang’ Zhang (24-1-1) on April 15th at the Copper Box Arena, London.
Joyce is on the path to world honours and is not slowing down on his journey to the top as he fights another well-resected heavyweight in Zhang.
‘The Juggernaut’ has knocked out 14 of his 15 opponents since turning pro in 2018. After a standout amateur career that culminated in an Olympic Silver medal, Joyce has made major progress through the pro ranks. His most recent victory saw him become the first man to stop former world champion, Joseph Parker, in a thrilling bout in September.
Joyce knows a world title shot is on the horizon and has made it clear to the champions, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, that he wants a shot at them. However, ‘The Juggernaut’ cannot afford to overlook his next challenger.
Zhang also represented his country in the Olympics and transitioned his all-action style to the pro ranks. ‘Big Bang’ does have one loss on his record, but many believe he was hard done by when he was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Filip Hrgovic last time out.
Zhang also carries power, as he has stopped 19 of his 26 opponents, with his last stoppage being a one-round blowout of Scott Alexander. However, he has been susceptible to slowing down in the later stages of fights and this was apparent when he faced Jerry Forrest in 2021.
These two men almost always guarantee fireworks when they step through the ropes, so expect a bruising fight for however long it lasts, and it can all be watched live from the Copper Box Arena on April 15th, and available on BT Sport.