Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn sheds light on Joe Joyce’s Zhilei Zhang defeat advising rematch or retirement

Veteran British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had some strong words to say about Joe Joyce’s recent performance against Zhiliei Zhang. Joe Joyce is not an ‘elite’ heavyweight, in Hearn’s opinion. Zhilei Zhang recently defeated the Brit for the first time in his professional career, a shocking upset that Hearn thinks “shows his level.”

Joe Joyce vs Zhang

Hearn didn’t mince words in criticizing Joyce. He said, “The reality is, Joe Joyce, has never boxed an elite heavyweight. Zhilei Zhang is not an elite heavyweight. Joe wasn’t good enough to deal with Zhilei Zhang. When you sell your attributes based on ‘you can hit me as hard as you like, and I’ll keep coming’ – that’s not the recipe for longevity in a career. He gets hit by absolutely everything, Joe Joyce.”

Hearn further added “I would understand if he retired from boxing. He’s taken unbelievable punishment in sparring, in amateur tournaments, and even in the professional code. The reality is Joe Joyce is not an elite heavyweight. If you can’t beat Zhilei Zhang, you have absolutely no chance of winning a world heavyweight title. If he doesn’t rematch Zhang, he should retire.”

What’s next for Joe Joyce?

interestingly Joyce and Zhang have a rematch clause and hence Joyce could fight Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) again right away. Broken dignity and the will to prove his haters like Hearn may drive him to follow this path in the days and weeks that follow this shocking defeat.

Even hearing Joyce speak matter-of-factly about a quick return in the moments following the fight was a promising sign of an immediate rematch.

Joyce said, “We’re going to discuss it. I could have one in between. I’m just going to decide, I’m going to have some time off and reflect and watch the tape back and see where I went wrong.”

Joyce’s aspirations of a big-money fight against someone like Anthony Joshua are certainly off the charts for now as after a defeat like this he will certainly need to prove his mettle once again in order to be acknowledged by the top heavyweights.

Aryan Verma

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Aryan Verma is a Combat Sports writer covering UFC and Boxing for SportsZion. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's in technology degree in Computer Science. Being a martial art practitioner himself, Aryan cherishes the opportunity to share his thoughts on latest combat sport events through his blogs.


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