Zhilei Zhang delivers a brutal knockout on Joe Joyce AGAIN with a huge shot in round three of their rematch… before the Chinese vows to ‘shut up’ Tyson Fury and send Anthony Joshua ‘to sleep’
- Zhilei Zhang claimed a sensational knock out victory against Joe Joyce
- He stopped the Brit in the third round of the bout with a huge right hand
- Afterwards Zhang asked the crowd: ‘Do you want to see me shut Tyson Fury up?’
The Putney Juggernaut ran headlong into China’s Zhilei Zhang and went crashing off the golden highway to world heavyweight championship glory.
Perhaps, sadly, for good and all.
This Saturday night’s short journey from Putney to Wembley ended with Joe Joyce a heap on the floor. Down in less than three rounds and out of the big-time reckoning.
Zhang unleashed another cluster of the left hooks which had broken Joyce’s face six months earlier.
And this time he followed that features-flushing bombardment with a right cross from hell.
Zhilei Zhang (pictured) claimed victory against Joe Joyce on Saturday night at the Ovo Wembley Arena
The Chinese fighter (right) delivered a devastating right hook to knock out Joyce (left) in the third round
Zhang’s real nickname is Big Bang and whether or not this is the biggest of his life, it was the most important.
He remains the WBO interim champion and is now confirmed at the age of 40 as the mandatory challenger for that belt whoever is wearing it once Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk do their business.
Joyce is looking all his 38 years but is not likely to declare retirement immediately. But whether he will want to return in search of his dream more belatedly than he came to professional boxing must be open to doubt.
That delay in turning professional – in vain search of Olympic gold – now looks like the greatest mistake of this decent man’s life.
Maybe the canvas for his future is the one on which he paints so artistically, not that from which he was unable to rise.
As if these two hunks were not beefy enough already both bulked up even more for their second bite at each other.
At a whopping career record 20st 1lb, Joyce was a hefty 25 lbs mightier than when he was stopped with a battered eye in April.
Zhang had weighed in even heavier at 287 lbs. Bombs away.
Presumably our Joe was hoping to make himself even more resilient against the Chinaman’s thunderous blows.
China’s Zhilei gambling that the extra poundage would breach Joyce’s fabled chin of granite.
Certainly, at 38 and 40 respectively, neither could expect to be any faster than in their thump-thump first fight in April.
At ages when their world heavyweight title dreams have been becoming more elusive, more distant, each was putting all his eggs in one giant punch bag. May the biggest boomer win, baby.
Whenever they might choose to get around to it. Both were so wary of each other’s power that neither threw a punch of consequence in the first round. It was tempting to score it 9-9 but the rules insist on 110-110.
It was a devastating blow, that silenced the crowd, with Joyce (front-middle) dropping to the canvas after the punch
The referee subsequently waved the contest over before Joyce was checked by medical staff inside the ring, before walking out of the arena, shaking hands and fist bumping a few of his supporters who applauded him after the bout
It was the first time that Joyce (right) has been sent to the canvas in his professional career
Zhang (right) took control of the fight in the second round, showing his power to strike some hard hitting shots on Joyce
After the fight, he asked the crowd: ‘Do you want to see me shut Tyson Fury up?!’
Zhang tired of that nonsense first and wakened us all up with a left which sent Joyce staggering back. Zhang unleashed a two fist onslaught at the end of the second.
Worse, much worse, was to come. As Joyce strove for a foothold in the third he walked into disaster.
Zhang softened him up with more of the lefts which had broken his six months earlier, then pitch-forked the Putney painter face first onto the canvas with a monstrous right.
Not even Joyce’s fabled chin could withstand that. He was somewhere between horizontal and the jack-knife position as the count reached what sounded for him like a Doomsday count of ten.
After the Bout, Zhang claimed he was happy with the win before asking the audience whether they wanted to see him take on Tyson Fury.
‘I’m happy,’ he said to TNT Sports. ‘Like I said before the fight, it’s going to end sooner than the first one. Joe, I like him, I respect him and I will let everyone witness Chinese power again.’
‘This is what we’re here for, we’re professional fighters. We came to entertain the crowd and we did it. I hope everyone enjoyed my performance.
‘Thank you to everyone who came here today and witnessed my greatness in front of Chinese social media.’
When asked who he wants to fight next he took the microphone and asked the audience: ‘Do you want to see me shut Tyson Fury up?!’
Zhang said to talkSPORT: ‘Very happy because everybody recognised me today.
He added that it was the best finish in his fight yet: ‘Yes, but I have to thank Joe Joyce for giving me this opportunity.
‘I just want to shut Tyson Fury up. He talks too much,’ he said on his next opponent before admitting ‘We’re boxers. We fight we don’t talk. Tyson Fury talks too much.’
Speaking on what he’d do to Joshua in the ring, he said: ‘The same thing. They’re all going to go to sleep.’
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