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Home » Joe Joyce faces his own 278lb Juggernaut on Saturday night

Joe Joyce faces his own 278lb Juggernaut on Saturday night

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Joe Joyce faces a juggernaut of his own on Saturday night after heavyweight opponent Zhilei Zhang weighed in a staggering 278 pounds.

Joyce, known for his nickname of “The Juggernaut,” battles the Chinese phenom in London on his path to a world title shot.

Scaling 256 pounds, Joyce is out-weighed by 22 pounds.

The undefeated British knockout artist and former unified junior lightweight champion Mikaela Mayer are set to co-headline an action-packed card this Saturday at Copper Box Arena in London.

At 15-0 with 14 KOs, Joyce will defend his WBO interim heavyweight belt in the main event against top division contender and fellow Olympic silver medalist Zhilei Zhang [24-1-1, 19 KOs]

The co-feature will see Mayer [17-1, 5 KOs] debuting at 135 pounds.

Undercard fighters include heavyweight prospect Moses Itauma [2-0, 2 KOs] in a scheduled six-rounder against Ukraine’s Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (9-12-1, 6 KOs).

Also, England’s Sam Noakes [10-0, 10 KOs] in a 12-round lightweight clash against Indian standout Karthik Sathish Kumar [10-0, 4 KOs].

Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang quotes

“I’m a tough man. I started rugby a long time ago. I’ve tried a lot of sports. And I’ve finally found my sport in boxing. And it’s a whole package, all the ingredients that go into making a great champion. That’s what I want to be. And I’m getting close. I have the WBO interim title, but I don’t know how close I am to the world title.”

“All the others seem to be running scared or doing their own thing. I want the fights to happen. I get how things work with the governing bodies.

“And I can only fight who is put in front of me. So, why not fight a good fight and give everyone an entertaining fight against Zhilei Zhang?”

“I respect Zhang’s power, and I won’t be going in there recklessly. He’s a southpaw, too. That’s more of a tricky style than what I’m used to.

“The last southpaw I fought was Lenroy Thomas in my fourth fight for the Commonwealth title.

“In history, that was quick. I’ve only had 15 fights with 14 knockouts. I’m in for proper fights and will give everyone value for their money.”

Zhilei Zhang

“We accepted this fight with no questions. For me, I’m here for a reason. I’m here to become the strongest and the best. And I know that to be the best, you have to beat the best.

“The translation of ‘The Juggernaut’ in Chinese is Red Tank. That’s what people call him. He has a tough chin. He has great stamina. But I’m the ‘Big Bang.'”

“From the first round of their fight, Joseph Parker fought scared. He fought to go backward and run around the ring. So, when it comes to direct body contact, no one has hit Joe Joyce with solid punches. But, I will land my shots.”

Saturday, April 15 – ESPN+ (3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT)

Joe Joyce vs. Zhang Zhilei, 12 rounds, Joyce’s WBO Interim Heavyweight Title

Mikaela Mayer

Moses Itauma vs. Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko, six rounds, Heavyweight

Sam Noakes vs. Karthik Sathish Kumar, 12 games, Lightweight

Promoted by Queensberry Promotions, Joyce-Zhang, and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ beginning at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT.

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