Results: Zhilei Zhang defeats Joe Joyce by TKO-6 (1:34), captures the WBO interim heavyweight championship!
Two heavyweights will face-off this weekend with the WBO interim heavyweight title on the line. Joe Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) and Zhilei Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KOs) are scheduled for 12 rounds at the Copper Box Arena in London, England on Saturday, April 15. Joyce-Zhang will be streamed on ESPN+, with the undercard set to start at 2 p.m. ET.
Joyce enters this fight winning his last five bouts by way of KO/TKO. Overall, he has great power and speed, often hitting his opposition with an array of punches. Last September he stopped Joseph Parker in the 11th, earning the TKO win and the world heavyweight title. He will look to have a successful title defense this weekend.
Zhang is coming off his first professional loss at the hands of Filip Hrgovic, by way of unanimous decision last August. Prior to that, his record was seemingly unblemished at 24-0-1. He is considered a top 15 heavyweight in the world, as 19 of his 24 wins have come by knockout.
Joyce comes into the bout as the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is a -1100 favorite while Zhang is a +600 underdog.
Joe Joyce vs. Zhilei Zhang round-by-round results
Round 1: Zhang 10-9
Stagnant start on both sides, as both fighters feeling each other out a bit. Zhang all of a sudden fires off a big left hand, followed by another one. Best one-two of the round so far. Joyce responds with a nice overhand right. Zhang fires a second left hand, just enough to still the round.
Round 2: Zhang 10-9 (Zhang 20-19)
Joyce getting busier with a straight left jab, but Zhang responds with a big left hook. Zhang has the hometown Joyce stumbling a bit. Joyce bleeding from the nose. Zhang in control midway. Joyce now coming back stronger a bit, doing a good job with a left of his own. But, so far Zhang is up on the cards.
Round 3: Joyce 10-9 (Zhang 29-28)
Zhang continues his dominance in these early rounds, Joyce more busy but Zhang landing more effective shots. Joyce lands a nice shot to the body. The full hand speed of Joyce on display, his best round yet. Zhang fires a straight left hand that pauses some of Joyce’s momentum.
Round 4: Zhang 10-9 (Zhang 39-37)
Joyce staying busy, but the swelling is getting worse. He must turn this around, as Zhang connects again with a nice straight left. Zhang has hit that punch time and time again. Joyce responding, but cannot seem to connect.
Round 5: Zhang 10-9 (Zhang 49-46)
Zhang continuing to hurt the eye of Joyce. This one could very well be done soon. Joyce aiming to get some shots in, but the overwhelming left hand from Zhang controlled this fight.
Round 6: Zhang wins by TKO
Before the round begins, ringside doctor checks on the condition of Joyce’s eye. They proceed, Joyce is in desperation mode here. Still not moving his head and another strong left hand rocks Joyce. Doctor appears once again and the ref has called this one off!