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Joe Joyce vows to 'rip back' the WBO interim title from 'tricky b*****d' Zhilei Zhang

EXCLUSIVE: Joe Joyce vows to ‘rip back’ the WBO interim title from ‘tricky b*****d’ Zhilei Zhang at Wembley Arena on September 23 and opens up on ‘ongoing’ mental recovery from devastating loss

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Joe Joyce admits he’s still dealing with the disappointment of his shock loss to Zhilei Zhang back in April.

The fight was waved off in the sixth round after Joyce’s right eye was swollen shut by a series of well-placed left straights from the Chinese puncher.

In the process, Joyce would fall to defeat for the first time in the paid ranks – a bitter pill to swallow for the proud Londoner.

‘It’s still ongoing, it’s a tough pill to swallow to lose,’ he told Sportsmail ahead of his rematch with Zhang on September 23 at the OVO Wembley Arena. ‘But I didn’t lose too badly, I could have carried on, I felt I could carry on but it was stopped for me.

‘I know I’ll do better next time. I was just so disappointed for the people that came out to watch me, my family, my friends and I didn’t deliver like I normally do.

Joe Joyce and Zhilei Zhange will rematch on September 23 at the OVO Wembley Arena

Joe Joyce and Zhilei Zhange will rematch on September 23 at the OVO Wembley Arena

Joyce was defeated via doctors stoppage in the sixth round after his eye swole completely shut

Joyce was defeated via doctors stoppage in the sixth round after his eye swole completely shut

Joyce was defeated via doctors stoppage in the sixth round after his eye swole completely shut

‘So, it was hard and I’m disappointed, it’s been tough but I need to get back on the horse and get the title back.’

A lot was made of Zhang’s southpaw stance in the immediate aftermath. Joyce hadn’t fought a lefty since boxing Lenroy Thomas five years ago for the Commonwealth title and appeared to struggle with Zhang’s set up.

‘The Juggernaut’ acknowledges it played a factor but is confident that he will work out the puzzle with a second camp behind him.

‘They’re just tricky, tricky b*****s, and It’s a whole different style that you have to deal with. I mean there’s different types of southpaws just like there’s different orthodoxs and he’s a very experienced and tricky southpaw.

‘He’s strong, he’s tough, he was eating my shots, he’s solid, he’s quite hard to move around and he was accurate and fast – very fast – especially with backhand, he kept on nailing me over and over on the eye.’

He added: ‘If it wasn’t for the eye then maybe I could have turned it around. He started to tire and I was getting more success. 

‘I could have won it on points if I had carried on that tempo. So, I can see where I can overcome this challenge. 

‘This camp will give me a bit more time to prepare for a southpaw and also the tactics. 

‘I just need to rip it (the WBO interim title) back from him and get back as the  mandatory.’

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for AccessTV.co, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on AccessTV.co.

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