Joe Joyce’s rematch with Zhilei Zhang at heavyweight is slated for September 23.
Joyce, 37, was defeated by Zhang in April, ending his unbeaten streak.
Joyce’s injured eye was twice examined by the ringside doctor before the fight was stopped in the sixth round.
“I’m returning to reclaim what is rightfully mine.” There will be no compromises. “I’m not going to underestimate my opponent,” Joyce remarked.
“Nothing but a victory.” My unbeaten professional record was shattered the last time I competed.
“It was difficult to bear. But, as the dust settles, all of it will do is make me stronger. I’ve learned a few things. I’m prepared. And I’m coming for it all.”
Joyce was undefeated in 15 fights with 14 knockouts before falling to Zhang in London’s Copper Box Arena.
In May, he invoked the rematch clause and tweeted, “Rematch clause activated. Taking back what is rightfully mine.”
“Joe will acknowledge that Zhilei did a number on him at the Copper Box,” said promoter Frank Warren, “and he has a lot to work on to put it right.”
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Joyce is attempting to restore the WBO mandated status of ‘Juggernaut.’ Joyce was on the verge of a world title chance when she was defeated by underdog Zhang.
The Londoner was repeatedly knocked down by the 40-year-old southpaw before the battle was called off.
Joyce lost his WBO ‘interim’ championship, but he now has a chance to reclaim the number one challenger spot for world champion Oleksandr Usyk’s crown.
“He knows what he has to do,” Warren added, “and his immediate future depends on him regaining his position as WBO Interim world champion.”
“Fortunately for Joe, the rotation system for mandatory challenges with the governing bodies means that the WBO contender vs. the unified champion has yet to be called.”
“A win in September will put Joe right back in the mix to face whoever wins the fight between current champion Oleksandr Usyk and his next challenger, Daniel Dubois.”
Since turning professional in 2014, ‘Big Bang’ Zhang has won 25 fights with one loss and one tie.
“I created history the last time, and I believe that the best way to inherit history is to create new ones,” he explained.
“I approach the rematch as if it were a new fight, and I approach Joe Joyce as if I had never fought him before.” “I started from scratch, and this is my new self.”