Who saw that coming? Not many I would suspect, as Zhilei Zhang earned a sixth-round technical knockout over Joe Joyce to upset the interim WBO heavyweight champion, Joyce, who was waiting a big fight to present himself.
Now Zhang, better known as “Big Bang” is seeing a career resurgence as he had a very close fight with Filip Hrgović, in a fight he lost by split-decision, but many felt he won, and now he recorded the biggest win of his career. Zhang, one of the biggest punchers in the heavyweight division now seems set to make a run for the top of the division.
“I am very, very happy,” said the 2008 super heavyweight Olympic silver medalist Zhang after the fight. “It’s Chinese power!”
As for how the stoppage came. Zhang put it in simple English, he felt Joyce was just too slow for him. Zhang clarified that he saw everything Joyce was doing and knew how to respond.
Though Zhang will now have a slew of options, one of which could be bringing world championship boxing to China, Zhang is open to the options that present themselves. Zhang essentially stated after the fight that it is up to Joe Joyce if they rematch and was indifferent about the location of the fight whether in Britain or China. Though when furthered questioned, Zhang made his case to contend for the most prestigious title in the sport, the heavyweight world title in his next bout.
“I am going right to [the world title] next,” said the man known as “Big Bang” Zhang “Today belongs to me. It belongs to everyone who showed up. It belongs to every Chinese person who showed up today.".