Joe Joyce Received Advice From His Teammates After His Loss to Zhilei Zhang

They say it is darkest before dawn, and that might be the closest thing to a loss in boxing. Gone are the days of seeing that as the birth of a prizefighter, as in the modern era, it is the start of gloom and doom.

Now, the 2016 British Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist, Joe Joyce, who was close to a heavyweight world title shot has a loss to his ledger after the ringside physician ruled him unable to continue against Zhilei Zhang in the sixth round of their bout scheduled for twelve rounds. ProBoxTV recently caught up with Joyce’s current teammate, junior middleweight Brian Mendoza, as well as his Olympic teammate and fellow Olympic silver medalist, Joshua Buatsi, as both shared unique perspectives to the situation. Mendoza has had to deal with losing abruptly in his career to Larry Gomez on an undercard, whereas Buatsi has yet o loss a professional fight, and for all we know might never experience that.

“[Joe is like a] giant teddy bear, he's like a kid in a giant’s body,” said Brian Mendoza of his stablemate, at Ismael Salas’ boxing gym heavyweight Joe Joyce, who trains besides Mendoza in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Like I proved [you can come back from a loss] just because he lost against [Zhang], it doesn’t matter if it is a big name or small name - a loss as a loss. You just have to know this is what you love to do, this is what you want. You've got to remember your why [in the sport of boxing] and why you're doing this in the first place, and that's what drives you. “I’m willing to put everything on the line. I'm willing to just give everything and just let it out all in the ring, because I have that why, I have my reason for doing that. So as long as you have [your why] you can come back from anything [in the sport of boxing].

” Meanwhile, Joshua Bautsi, a 2016 team Great Britain Olympic teammate of Joe Joyce shared his painful account of watching the fight with Joyce. For Joshua Buatsi, it seemed a tad bit more painful and close to home watching his countryman lose, as the two both brought home Olympic silver medals to team Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Like [Joe Joyce] said, he was disappointed with it,” said Buatsi prior to his training session this week as he finishes up his training camp in Hayward, Ca for his debut on Boxxer on May 6th. “I actually think he was going to start getting into [the fight] his eye just wouldn't allow him to. [Joyce] didn’t start out the best, he has not always been [good at starting fast in a fight]. For me, I'm a Joe Joyce fan, I'm always say that you know what? It was looking bad, but he was going to come on [strong in the second half of the fight], because I was listening to the commentary the other night [and they said Zhang] usually dips [in energy] past five or six rounds. So Joyce is not a guy you want to dip against.

” For Buatsi, it seemed through his heartfelt and sincere answers that it was hard to see a good friend, one who he bonded with during a pivotal and influential time in his life, face so much adversity.

“[I kept thinking this shouldn’t be] happening. It was my [friend Joe Joyce] watching that and hoping that the swelling wasn't going to get too bad and then the fight got called off,” furthered Buatsi about seeing Joe Joyce get stopped by Zhilei Zhang due to swelling over his eye that made the ringside physician stop the bout. “It was a tremendous performance from Zhang [who] landed the backend constantly and didn't show [the punch]. [I was watching and couldn’t tell] ‘is that is freaking his jab or was it a backhand. [Zhang] had the right game plan.

” Mendoza looked at the fight and explained that he believes that Joyce will get a rematch, and fix the problems, but the bigger sentiment is the loneliness of a loss. Boxing is one sport in which everyone loves a winner, and no one cares about you when you are down. Mendoza outlined that now Joyce has looked at his reasons for why he is a fighter to rebuild the momentum he had prior to this fight.

“I'm sure [Joyce] will work on some things and fix it in the rematch,” said Mendoza. “It's hard like he got [a loss] and people are going to forget about him. Boxing is a very ‘what have you done for me lately? sport’”