Joe Joyce was hospitalized after Zhilei punched Zhang with eye injuries after a brutal heavyweight loss
JOE JOYCE was hospitalized for the horrific eye injury he sustained in the loss to Zhilei Zhang.
Joyce had a horrible swelling after six rounds with Zhang’s left hand and combinations.
Referee Howard Foster was left with no choice but to stop the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor.
And battered and injured, Joyce revealed after his first defeat that he would go to the hospital as a precaution.
He said: “I couldn’t get away from his straight left.
“He kept nailing me in the eye and it made my eye swollen. I can still look through it but I think it’s just hurt.
“But just a formality, I have to go to the hospital now to make sure it’s not like a fracture or anything.”
Accordingly iFL TVthe nightly hospital examinations revealed no fractures in the eye.
Joyce’s title hopes were dashed after the shocking technical KO loss.
He posted on Instagram: “Burned out so upset I lost but I have to thank Zhilei Zhang for giving me a good fight and getting the win. I’ll be back.”
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Zhang commented, “You are a warrior and a true gentleman. You will come back stronger.”
Joyce, 37, lost his WBO interim title and mandatory full-belt shot to Oleksandr Usyk, 36.
Zhang, who turns 40 in May, inherits the belt and pole position while opening the door to a rematch.
He told SecondsOut: “Yes, I will if Joe Joyce wants to do it. I do it in London, New York or China.”