Joyce vs Zhang 2 Odds: Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips For The Big Fight

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Joyce vs Zhang 2 Odds: Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips For The Big Fight
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Joyce vs Zhang Jr 2 Predictions:


This Saturday at London’s OVO Wembley Arena lumbering Brit Joe Joyce, 16-1 (14KOs), will seek to reclaim that which he lost in defeat to Zhilei Zhang, 25-1-1(20KOs) earlier this year and betting sites have odds at the ready for the bout. 

The Chinese big man not only broke Joyce’s unbeaten record and claimed the WBO Interim title Joyce had held since beating Daniel Dubois, he also wrecked the promotional narrative of Joyce as the division’s bogeyman. 

Repeat or revenge themes are common in boxing. Historically though, the original victor triumphs again and often more definitively. 

Such was Zhang’s dominance in the first encounter that a clearer conclusion in Saturday’s rematch is hard to conjure but more troubling for Joyce’s advocates is; how does Joyce correct the conspicuous defensive deficiencies Zhang exposed? 

Zhang Shocks Joyce In Initial Bout

Before his humbling defeat to Zhang, Joyce was barging his broad shoulders into the lucrative company of Fury, Joshua and Wilder and into the running for a fight with Oleksander Usyk. 

The WBO belt crucial in leveraging the latter. Ironic then that the same Daniel Dubois that Joyce had knocked out in 2020 to win it would face the Ukrainian first a few weeks ago.

Credible wins over Dubois and Joseph Parker, along with victories over Jennings, Ustinov and Stiverne on the way up had established Joyce name. But, caveats about his mobility and slowness of hand persisted. 

Over time, and with the lustre of Joshua and Wilder diminished, British rivals Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora fading, criticism gave way to praise for the stoutness of Joyce’s chin and his persistent, if simplistic style. 

The Dubois win encouraged some observers to risk the blasphemy of comparison with the ‘old’ George Foreman.

In defeat, old cynicism about his deficiencies rather than his strengths took centre stage. 

Plenty leapt from the Juggernaut Joyce ‘bandwagon’. Now aged 38, Joyce was a later starter in the professional ranks, it is hard to contemplate how he can significantly impact any of those facets of his style in just a few months. 

To paraphrase Tyson Fury on all uncomfortable realities; “He is what he is.”

Zhang surpassed expectations in April - perhaps even his own. A fellow giant, Zhang, 39 at the time and in the Autumn of a professional career that had lurched from over-hyped to underwhelming, boxed well behind and surprised with his hand speed and guile. 

Despite his own heft he outmanoeuvred Joyce and appeared entirely at ease dictating the terms of the fight. 

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A Future Big Payday Is On The Line

Even though heavyweights shouldn’t still be fighting at 40, the aforementioned Chisora a luminous example of the risk inherent in boxing long beyond a physical prime, Zhang’s performance was a revelatory outlier. 

His longevity due in part to careful match making through a ponderous 15-year career that led from his silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.

In beating Joyce, Zhang has snagged a sizeable payday and an opportunity to project himself toward the huge cash cow purses available to those who secure a fight with the top four. In short, there is much still at stake for the two veterans.

Having won the first fight as the underdog, Zhang returns as a narrow favourite with the best online betting sites for boxing.  

Bets For Joyce vs Zhang 2

Zhang is available at 17/20 for the outright win in the fight with betting apps, with 11/10 about for Joyce to achieve the redemption he seeks.

To win, Joyce is relying on a return to a heavier weight on the scales. A quest for mobility against such a large, older opponent was deemed advantageous last time. 

The lighter poundage served only to diminish Joyce’s stamina, his ability to absorb punishment and stole from Joyce his strength on the inside. 

Take away those tenants of Joyce’s style and the explanation for the loss that all vanquished fighters seek emerges.

Zhang was able to land his southpaw jab as a lead punch and as a counter to Joyce’s offence. 

He closed Joyce’s eye and destroyed his confidence and effectiveness too. 

In all likelihood, Joyce cannot perform so poorly again, he will be more focussed on Zhang and less on what lays beyond victory. Having returned to a familiar fighting weight expect a closer contest.

A points verdict looks entirely possible despite their respective power and contemplate a busier Joyce, with greater strength on the inside testing Zhang’s stamina and edging this, perhaps contentiously, on the scorecards.

Back the over at 9.5 rounds at 5/6 with William Hill, and couple it with Joyce to snag a narrow verdict - admittedly a little tight at 3/1

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