Joe Joyce returns to the ring this weekend for what could be a hard-hitting affair against fellow Olympic silver medalist Zhilei Zhang.
The WBO interim heavyweight champion has been patiently waiting for a world title shot having torn his way through the professional ranks, winning all 15 of his bouts - 14 inside the distance.
Should the Juggernaut deal with Zhang on Saturday night, he should surely find himself on the cusp of a title shot but his Chinese opponent is certainly no mug, and has the ability and, most importantly, durability to give Joyce a tough night’s work.
Here’s everything you need to know about a card that also sees Denzel Bentley and Kieran Smith go head-to-head for the British middleweight title, as well as the return of Mikaela Mayer.
Where: Copper Box Arena, London, United Kingdom
When: Saturday, April 15
How To Watch: BT Sport. The main card gets underway at 7pm with ringwalks for Joyce vs Zhang expected at about 10pm.
Tale Of The Tape:
Place Of Birth: London, United Kingdom
Record: 15-0 (14)
Last Fight: Joyce stopped former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker with a left hook to the chin in the 11th round at Manchester Arena in September.
Place Of Birth: Zhoukou, China
Alias: Big Bang
Record: 24-1-1 (19)
Last Fight: Zhang found himself on the wrong end of a controversial unanimous decision verdict against Filip Hrgovic in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua’s rematch.
What They Say:
Joyce: “He bangs so I will have to watch out for it.
“It will be carnage in the centre of the ring! I have lost my temper a few times in sparring and once was against a come-forward southpaw who was trying to knock me out. It was an exciting spar.
“I think with me and Zhang there will be real heavy punches exchanged and I am sure it will be a good fight."
Zhang: "Joe Joyce and I share a lot in common – we both are Olympic silver medalists, both are big punchers, and are nearly the same size. This is going to be an explosive, epic and tremendous fight."
Full Fight Card:
Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang, heavyweight
Denzel Bentley vs Kieran Smith, BBBofC British middleweight title
Sam Noakes vs Karthik Sathish Kumar, lightweight
Mikaela Mayer vs Christina Linardatou, lightweight
Eithan James vs Georgi Velichkov, welterweight
Sonny Ali vs Richard Helm, welterweight
Moses Itauma vs Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko, heavyweight
Seth Gyimah vs Darryl Sharp, light-heavyweight
Joel Kodua vs Seamus Devlin, super-welterweight
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change