Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
Joe Joyce gets a chance to avenge the first defeat of his career on Saturday as he faces China’s Zhilei Zhang at Wembley Arena.
Joyce lost the WBO interim heavyweight title as he was stopped in the sixth round when these two heavyweights met in April, but could reclaim it with a victory on Saturday – and the winner could potentially be in line for a shot at regular WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk next.
Two-time world title challenger Anthony Yarde is on the undercard as he returns to the ring for the first time since losing out to IBF, WBO and WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev against Portuguese veteran Jorge Silva, who has a 22-8 record. I’ve got the main event covered, including details on how to watch, and have put together a 15/1 treble including two bouts on the undercard.
Where to watch Zhang vs Joyce II
Zhang vs Joyce II will take place on Saturday 23 September, at Wembley Arena in London.
The main card is expected to begin at 7.30pm BST and ringwalks for the main event are expected to take place at around 10.30pm BST, depending on the length of the undercard fights.
For viewers In the UK, the event will be broadcast by TNT Sports and is not a PPV fight.
Zhang vs Joyce II Betting offers
I’ve used bet365 for the odds for Joyce vs Zhang 2, and new customers can take advantage of their sign-up offer using the button below.
Who is on the Zhang vs Joyce II undercard?
- Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce 2
- Pierce O’Leary vs Kane Gardner
- Anthony Yarde vs Jorge Silva
- Sam Noakes vs Carlos Perez
- Zach Parker vs Khalid Graidia
- Ezra Taylor vs Joel McIntyre
- Royston Barney-Smith vs Engel Gomez
- Moses Itauma vs Amine Boucetta
- Tommy Fletcher vs Alberto Tapia
- Aloys Youmbi vs Erik Nazaryan
- Sean Noakes vs Lukasz Barabasz
Zhang vs Joyce II prediction and fight preview
Zhang went into the first meeting as the big underdog but pulled off a stunning upset to derail Joyce’s world title aspirations.
The Briton had no answer to Zhang’s relentless jab and ultimately the fight was halted in the sixth round as Joyce was deemed unable to continue due to damage to his eye.
That was probably a below par performance from Joyce and he is capable of better, but whether or not he can raise his level far enough to settle the score remains to be seen. China’s ‘Big Bang’ will look to get behind his jab again, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his hand raised again at the end of this contest.
Joyce, 38, will know he can’t afford to take the same approach again if he is to avenge his loss, so he has to alter his tactics. ‘Juggernaut’ started slowly last time, presumably in the hope Zhang would tire in the later rounds, but he may feel the need to go on the attack from the off on Saturday.
If Joyce and his team have managed to work out a way to avoid that left jab, which admittedly is a huge ‘if’, this fight could be completely different to the first as Zhang is a fairly one dimensional fighter. So picking a winner may not be the best angle and instead the total rounds markets stand out here, with the 7/4 on offer for under 7.5 having real appeal.
Both of these fighters have exceptional stoppage records – Zhang’s KO-to-win rate stands at 80% and Joyce’s is 93.3%. The last fight ended in the sixth round and in the 42 fights these two heavyweights have contested between them and only seven have reached the seventh round. If Joyce tries to force the issue early he could grab an early stoppage and Zhang has already shown he has the power and accuracy to stop his opponent, so I’m taking a chance on an early-ish finish at Wembley Arena.
Saturday’s Boxing Treble Tip
Under 6.5 rounds
Zach Parker vs Khalid Graidia
Zach Parker returns for the first time since losing to John Ryder in 2022, where a hand injury forced him to retire, as takes on Khalid Graidia in his comeback bout. This is the first time Parker has been up against an opponent with a losing record since 2017, and he should be looking to make a statement. The loss to Ryder was Parker’s first career defeat and he has managed 16 of his 22 wins inside the distance, four of his last five have come inside the first four rounds. Graidia has lost his last three fights, and is unlikely to see the second half of this contest so the 5/6 on under 6.5 rounds looks a strong option.
Pierce O’Leary to win by decision or technical decision
Vs Kane Gardner
Pierce O’Leary is unbeaten with 12 wins (7 KOs) in as many fights and should have the quality to overcome Kane Gardner as he defends his WBC International Super lightweight strap. Gardner has lost twice in a 19-fight career but has never been stopped, so take O’Leary to win on points.
Under 7.5 rounds
Zhang vs Joyce II
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