Tonight: Joyce Vs. Zhang – Live Results

Joe Joyce will be looking to make a statement tonight when he defends his interim WBO heavyweight title at the Copper Box Arena in London against the game challenger Zhilei Zhang.

Boxing 247 will be giving live updates of the action below.

Former IBF/WBO female super featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KOs) outworked a tough Lucy Wildheart (10-2,4 KOs), winning a 10-round unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC interim World lightweight title.

The judges’ scores:

Mayer, 32, walked into a lot of right hands from Wildheart throughout the contests, but she took them well and controlled the championship round with her high punch output.

Heavyweight prospect Moses Itauma (3-0, 2 KOs) put in a workmanlike performance, beating the always-tough Kostiantyne Dovbyshchenko (9-13-1, 6 KOs) by a six-round points decision. The score was 60-54.

Itauma hit the 31-year-old Dovbyshchenko at will with monstrous shots to the head and body through the first four rounds. The punches had little effect on Dovbyshchenko, as he kept coming forward, pressuring the 18-year-old Itauma and tagging him occasionally.

Itauma seemed to tire out after round four, and he coasted in the final two rounds, landing nice uppercuts and body shots, but not enough to bother the veteran Dovbyshchenko.

In a beautiful punching display, Commonwealth & WBC International Silver lightweight champion Sam Noakes (11-0, 11 KOs) stopped Karthik Sarthis Kumar (10-1, 4 KOs) in the second round.

Noakes, a guy with one-punch power, dropped Kumar twice in the fight, once in the first round and a final time in round two. The referee John Latham stopped the contest after Noakes poleaxed Kumar with a brutal right hand to the head. The fight was stopped at 1:17 of round two.

British middleweight champion Denzel Bentley (18-2-1, 15 KOs) blasted out Kieran Smith (18-2, 7 KOs) in a lightning-fast first-round knockout. Bentley stormed after Smith from the opening bell, nailing him with power shots.

Bentley hurt Smith with a left hook to the head, causing him to retreat to the ropes. From there, Bently unloaded with several hard shots, sending him to the canvas in a heap. The referee Mark Lyons then waved it off at 0:45 of the round.

Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) can put the scare in the top dogs at heavyweight, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk,  Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder, with an impressive performance against Zhang (24-1-1, 19 KOs) tonight. The main portion of the card will be shown on ESPN+ at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

Main card on ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET

  • Joe Joyce vs. Zhilei Zhang
  • Mikaela Mayer vs. Lucy WIldheart
  • Moses Itauma vs. Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko
  • Sam Noakes vs. Karthik Sathish Kumar

What time is Joyce vs. Zhang tonight?

Joyce vs. Zhang main card starts at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ tonight.

“I was going to say it’s gone under the radar, but I think it’s been given a good push promotional-wise. They’ve done a good job,” said Ade Oladipo about tonight’s Joyce vs. Zhang event.

“It’s a fight that nobody asked for and a fight that nobody really expected, but it’s a good fight, it really is. I do think that a lot of casual boxing fans and hardcore fans as well, like to focus on just the top four or five guys fighting each other.

“There’s a lot of good match-ups that can be made in the top 15, and I think this is one of them. This is two guys in the top 10. No one has Joe Joyce worse than #5 in the division. A lot of people think it’s Fury, Usyk, and then maybe Joe Joyce.

“Joe Joyce is rubber-stamped top five. He’s rubber-stamped, and he could be higher. Zhilei Zhang,I know he didn’t beat on the record book. I was there [in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last August], guys. He beat [Filip] Hrgovic. he did. Hrgovic prior to that, was considered by many people a top seven, top eight heavyweight.

“With that win, Zhilei Zhang, for me, goes into the top 10. So you got a fight between two top 10 heavyweights. That’s solid. Two top 10 heavyweights, both unbeaten. Zhang’s performance against Jerry Forrest was a majority draw. He [Zhang] struggled in that fight.

“He literally was on his fifth wind. He struggled. So maybe lucky to get out of there with a draw. I know the record books say it’s a defeat but he [Zhang] won the fight for me.

“You got two heavyweights, two very big heavyweights as well, two very good amateurs. We like to talk about Joe Joyce’s Olympic silver medal, which a lot of people think should have been a gold. Zhilei Zhang’s amateur record is very good.

“He was an Olympic medalist in Beijing. AJ actually beat him in 2012. He’s won a couple of world championship medals as well,”  Ade said about Zhang. “The Asian games gold medalist. He’s a very, very decorated amateur.

“Look, I think it’s a very fantastic fight. Zhang is a problem because I do think he’s worked on his gas tank. I know he looked like he was struggling against Hrgovic, but the pace of that fight. They fought at a very good pace. I’d love to see the punch stats for that fight because the punch output was really good for the first four rounds, and then they both got tired.

How to watch Joyce vs. Zhang?

Joyce-Zhang event will be shown on ESPN+ at 3:00 p.m. ET and on BT Sport in the UK.

“We know what Joe Joyce brings to the ring. He’s relentless. He’s a nightmare to fight; he really is. He isn’t deceptively fast, but he’s not as slow as you think, either. He isn’t.

“He has a chin that seems to be made from a comic book. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me. The reason I say this is because I’ve seen big heavyweights hit him. Big heavyweights land on him. Carlos Takam landed clean 20 or 30 times. Nothing.

“Daniel Dubois cracked him. Nothing. Joseph Parker, who has very decent power, maybe not in the same power bracket as Daniel Dubois, but Joseph Parker cracked him. Nothing. This guy’s chin doesn’t make sense, but he’s also got a gas tank, Joe Joyce, which is insane. It’s insane.

“His fitness levels are incredible. I’d love to watch what he does in a training camp and how he eats. Does he do roadwork? Is he really old school of sparring and roadwork because his fitness levels, his chin, his boxing IQ, which he doesn’t get enough credit for.  This guy ticks a lot of boxes, he really does.

“I’ve always been a fan of him just out of respect because he’s been through the ropes. But I’ve always felt like, ‘What is he doing? He’s now found a home with BT Sport. I think he’s found himself as well in a sense that we now understand who he is,” said Ade about Joyce.

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