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Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang

1809 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  SimonTemplar
Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang announced for April 15th.

Fair play to Joyce its a fight he did not need to take. And presents a serious risk. Zhang can bang and Joyce Loves to defend punches with his face.

Interesting to see how this plays out. This is potentially the last hurdle for Joyce before he fights Fury in the Summer.
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A decent matchup and I am keen for it. But...

1/ What state is boxing in when interim titles are being defended? No, it's not the first time it's been done and sadly it won't be the last. But interim titles are for when a reigning champion is unable to defend their title due to injury and once someone has attained the interim title they are meant to fight the reigning champion upon his resumption. Simply creating another title out of an interim title is bullshit.

2/ How does a loss last fight qualify a fighter to be the challenger for a title? Yes, that's happened before too but that doesn't mean it's not bullshit.
I gave up worrying about this nonsense over 30 years ago. Firstly the WBC at that time introduced something called an international title. Which was similar to the interim titles these days confusing the public.
Then the British Promoters decided to give credence to the WBO, and younger fans might not know this but the WBO was as lightly regarded as the IBO is today. Neither the fans or the Boxing Press gave much recognition to it.

In Britain even with the 3 other belts British fighters hardly ever won world titles. So the Promoters here went with the WBO and suddenly at the dawn of the 1990's we had World Champs left right and centre.

A few years down the line even the WBO became too hard for British fighters. So Promoters here recognised the WBU title. This WBU was Started by some guy at his kitchen table. I think Ricky Hatton is the greatest ever WBU champ. That organisation split into to two groups and has more or less disappeared.

And we also had the WBF title. It is still going and Johnny Nelson for a brief period in history was the WBF heavyweight Champion of the World.

With out the WBO title, guys like Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn would never have become British legends. And Ironically the best British Middleweight of that generation who was avoided by both of them that is Herol Graham. Has by and large been forgotten. Only remembered the Boxing Nerds from that era.
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Poor Bomber had a bit of a rough ride, razor thin defeats to Kalambay and McCallum plus getting banjoed by Julian Jackson when Herol was beating the snot out of him and going for the stoppage. I might be remembering wrongly but I think he was the mandatory contender for one of the belts (WBA?) when Hagler decided to fight Leonard. Looking at the problems an aging Hagler had with Ray it isn't beyong the realms of possibility that Herol would have handily outpointed Hagler if they had met at that time.
Yep from what I recall Herol Graham was 38 and 0, was ranked mandatory.
His promoters took an unnecessary risk in putting him in with Kalambay for European title. Otherwise he would have fought Iran Barkley for the vacant title I believe.
Kalmbay went on to fight Barkley....
This fight seemed like a risky proposition for Joyce who was on the cusp of a title fight. A smarter management would have put him in with someone alot easier. In anycase I will give him credit for taking a risky fight when he did not need to.

Hopefully he can get a 7 figure paycheck in the future against one of the bigger names. But at his age and technical limitations it seems more and more unlikely. I suspect another loss and that will be it for him.
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