Boxing Schedule: Joyce Vs. Zhang, ESPN+
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Joyce vs. Zhang on ESPN+
The big fight of the weekend will see two top-ten heavyweights do battle, but that comes secondary to the violence they both produce. Joe Joyce, the 2016 British silver medalist in the super heavyweight division will face the hard-punching Zhang Zhilei, for Joyce’s WBO interim heavyweight title.
It is also a battle between two violent fighters, who are not the most compelling interviews since both fighters seem to be genuinely nice people. Zhang probably should’ve got the win over Filip Hrgovic, and Joe Joyce should probably have fought for a world title by now. Regardless, here they are.
“It is annoying,” Joyce said when speaking to Sky Sports. “It’s really annoying that Dubois is ahead in the queue, and Hrgovic as well.”
Joyce is quite possibly the third-best heavyweight in the world behind Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Now, he has to prove it, and more so prove his chin is a world-class heavyweight chin. As Zhang might be the biggest puncher in the division, behind Deontay Wilder.
Mikaela Mayer will make her lightweight debut in the co-feature in the United Kingdom as she faces the only woman to beat the women who beat her last opponent [Alycia Baumgardner] in Christina Linardatou. Mayer versus Baumgardner was a very close fight that came down to whatever you prefer in terms of action. It appears Mayer wants to beat the only fighter to defeat Baumgardner as looks to face Baumgardner in the future, more than likely at her new weight class.
Sam Noakes is an exciting British fighter who holds the lightweight Commonwealth belt. He has ten fights and has won all of them by knockout. Noakes faces Karthik Sathish Kumar in a twelve-rounder and is being fast-tracked into position to fight for some big fights soon, in a very exciting division. I would start to watch for Noakes.
Denzel Bentley, fresh off playing spoiler to Janibek Alimkhanuly, will face Kieran Smith, as despite losing to the WBO middleweight world champion, Bentley still holds the British middleweight title, and will be making a defense. Despite losing his last fight, Bentley now seems to be at the apex mountain of his career as he was expected to get knocked out in his last fight but almost won the fight. Bentley now could parlay that fight into an incredible second act in his career with a good fight here.
A fighter named Sonny Liston Ali will fight in a 140-lbs fight on this undercard as that is an homage to both Sonny Liston and the man that beat him, Muhammad Ali. Just off the name alone, I will give his fight a glance, but know nothing about him.
Other Notable Bouts
A very good L.A. grudge match will happen between highly touted prospect Omar Cande Trinidad, who will face a tough veteran of the Southern California fight scene in Adan Ochoa, as the two are set for an eight-round featherweight main event bout taking place on UFC Fight Pass. The two got in the ring and had a verbal and nearly physical altercation at the end of Trinidad’s last fight on a 360 Promotions card in Montebello, California.
The co-feature will on Friday night’s UFC Fight Pass card brought to you by 360 Promotions will see, Cain Sandoval of Sacramento, CA, taking on Jose Angulo in a battle of ITRBoxing alums that we have covered throughout their career. Sandoval is a fighter people have hoped could be a world champion, and recently signed with 360 Promotions. This will be a big step up in competition as Angulo is a tricky boxer, who can present some problems if Sandoval looks to rely on power
Umar Dzambekov is a fighter with some expectations who will fight Central California fight veteran Nathan Davis Sharp in a light heavyweight bout.
Tervel Pulev, the brother of world challenger, Kubrat Pulev will face a solid regional fighter in Joel Shojgreen, in an eight-round cruiserweight bout broadcast on Fite.TV, in the Southern California area.
Junior Wright will face game veteran Brian Howard in a regional heavyweight fight that is scheduled for six rounds.
One of my favorite prospects in all of boxing is welterweight Angel Perez who will return in a six rounder this weekend, as well as another good featherweight Rasheen Brown will also be on that card. Welterweight Mark Dawson Jr., will be featured in a six-rounder on this card as well.
Former top-rated 154 lbs challenger Sergio Garcia will return this weekend, with a win he will be in the mix to be a marquee b-side opponent in the future.
Ernesto “Tito” Mercado seems to be fighting Hank Lundy as well.