Zhilei Zhang squares off with Joe Joyce in a highly anticipated rematch tomorrow night coming off the greatest performance of his professional career.
The Chinese southpaw comes to the English capital as the favourite after handing the, at the time, unstoppable Juggernaut his first career defeat with a sixth round stoppage upon Joyce receiving a devastating eye injury.
The giant 40 year old has had an air of calm and confidence all week, understandable considering the ease in which he halted the inform Londoner this past April.
Yesterday’s press conference exposed Zhang’s plan, he and his team making it no secret that they will be going only for the stoppage tomorrow night at Wembley Arena. However, Joyce weighed in today at a career heaviest of 281.25 pounds, also exposing his own intentions.
“I was predicting he would come in around 275, maybe 280 and he is around there, I’m not surprised at all.” Zhang said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “I am someone who always looks at my weakness, so we added to the camp for this fight. I was looking for areas to improve from the first fight, so we added some staff. I have to keep improving, we found the areas that needed it and we are ready.
“I feel great being the favourite this time around. Last time people saw a new side to me, a side nobody has seen in the ring. In the rematch boxing fans will discover even more about me, I’ve got more to show. When you look at your own destiny, would you give it to somebody else or will you take it with your own hands? If I go for the knockout I am taking my destiny in my own hands! I’m not giving anybody the opportunity to choose my destiny for me, not the referee, the judges nor anybody else. I will make my own plan.”
Zhang’s dirty mark on his 25-1-1 (20 KOs) record came prior to his, so far, career defining performance against Joyce. The Big Bang lost in a unanimous decision to the Croat last August, many feel it was the wrong decision.
“Since the Hrgovic fight, I’ve been telling myself to start doing it my way.” Zhang explained, “I can’t leave it to the judges, it is something I can’t change in this business. I have to do it my way.”
The winner tomorrow night will take a leap into the highest echelons of the money ridden heavyweight division, the hundreds of thousands pounds turning quickly into millions. Just 400 meters away sits the 90,000 seater Wembley Stadium hosting fights such as; Carl Froch Vs George Groves and Anthony Joshua Vs Wladimir Klitschko, a far cry from the 12,500 Wembley Arena. It certainly signifies the gap and reiterates how much is at stake in tomorrow's heavyweight rematch.
“It's interesting where we are now.” Zhang added. “I think Joe and his team picked me as an opponent originally because of the Hrgovic fight. They gave me the opportunity and I took it. I don’t care what Joe comes up with tomorrow night, I really don’t mind what he brings to the table. I’m like water, I will always adapt.”