Boxing fans were left stunned as veteran Chinese boxer Zhilei Zhang became the first boxer to win against Joe Joyce, ending his 15-0 win streak, find out all the fight details and more about Zhang, his age, height and weight
The two heavyweights had a showdown on April 15 at the Copper Box Arena in London and were initially supposed to clash in a 12-round contest.
Boxer Zhilei Zhang: Bio, age, height, weight, wife, record, stats, net worth in 2023
BRITISH BOXING SHOCKS
Following Joe Joyce's (somewhat) shock defeat at the hands of Zhilei Zhang, we take a look back at other shocking moments in British boxing history 🥊
A thread… 🧵 pic.twitter.com/bfEfbaLY6W
— Eat Sleep Boxing Repeat (@ESBRBoxing) April 18, 2023
🥊🗣Joe Joyce post fight statement: “Before you all write me off, I’m in good health. Not a great performance, and have to improve. Zhilei Zhang was the better fighter on the night, but I still think I can beat him.” #JoyceZhilei #boxing pic.twitter.com/oKVqDbPkmA
— The Hood (@AsiaThehood) April 18, 2023
However, after 6 rounds of intense blows from both sides, the referee had to call off the fight after Joe’s left eye became a wreck.
Prior to the fight, Joe was the WBO interim heavyweight champion and impressed everyone during the weigh-ins with a lighter build compared to his 2022 bout against Joseph Parker. A lot of fans assumed the lighter build would give him a speed advantage against Zhang.
Joe went into the fight with many prospective fights in mind, particularly a megafight against unified champ Oleksandr Usyk. Aside from Usyk, Joe had plans to fight against Dillian Whyte, and fellow Brits Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
If Joyce had won, he would have extended his perfect 16-0 record but his infamous inability to take punches eventually caught up to him. The ‘Juggernaut’ had so far won all 15 of his boxing bouts prior to the loss against Zhang.
Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce fight details
Zhile and Joe fought in front of a Brit-heavy arena, but this did not seem to put off Zhilei. the Chinese boxer stunned his opponent with heavy punches throughout the entire fight. In fact, one of the most notable moments of the fight was when Zhilei landed a big right hand on Joe midway through the second round.
Zhang gained early dominance in the fight with deadly combinations and right hands drawing blood from Joe’s nose. Joe’s eye eventually swelled up and began hindering his vision. Moreover, Zhilei’s constant left hand punches added more to the Joyce’s left eye problem.
Throughout the 4th and 5th rounds, it seemed as though every left hand that Zhilei threw landed o Joe’s head. The Brit even wobbled for a few seconds. However, the ‘Juggernaut’ surprisingly managed to secure the 5th round in his favor.
By the 6th round, Joe’s right eye was a wreck and the doctors had to take a look at it. Zhang took advantage of Joe’s wrecked eye and unleashed a series of punches. Officials had to stop the bout again with doctors coming in.
Eventually, Howard Foster, the referee called off the bout after Joe suffered significant swelling to his right eye. Thus, the fight ended with Zhang securing the WBO interim heavyweight title while Joe suffered his first defeat. Following the win, Zhang is next in line to face Oleksandr Usyk.
Zhilei Zhang brief bio and age
Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang is a Chinese professional boxer born on 2 May 1983 in Zhoukou, China. Zhang is currently 39-years-old and he is the new WBO interim heavyweight champions since April 2023. His preferred stance is a Southpaw stance.
As an amateur, Zhang won bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships. He also won a silver medal back at the 2008 Olympics. He won all of these titles in the super-heavyweight division.
He is unmarried and single and has a net worth of $1-5 million.
Height and weight
Zhilei Zhang is currently 1.98 m tall and weighs around 116 kg.
So far, the Chinese boxer has won 20 of his 25 wins via knockout, and has suffered only one defeat throughout his entire professional career.
“An eye for an eye”
Following the match, Joe made his post-fight speech where he made a reference to his 2020 win over Daniel Dubois. Joe stated:
It’s an eye for an eye now, I got my eye done. I got a bit of payback from Dubois, I guess. Maybe it’s karma.”
Back in his bout against Dubois, Joe won against Daniel after he was forced to quit in the 10th round due to his left eye getting completely shut out.
While many of Joe’s fans will be looking for an immediate rematch, given his unbeaten streak, it is unlikely to see it happen anytime soon considering the politics around boxing.