Promoter Frank Warren revealed that Joe Joyce gave no consideration to potentially forfeiting his rematch to enable Zhilei Zhang to challenge WBC king Tyson Fury.
Joyce will collide with Zhang at the OVO Arena, Wembley on September 23, live on TNT Sports.
The ‘Big Juggernaut’ will be attempting to take back the WBO Interim world heavyweight title he surrendered to Zhang back in March, when a severe swelling to his right eye rendered him unable to continue in the view of the ringside doctor.
“When we first made the fight Joe was champion, with Zhilei at No.2, so Joe went straight to the guy who was his immediate challenger with no messing about,” added Warren.
“We did put a rematch clause in there and, after the fight, we weren’t sure if Joe was going to be ready because he obviously sustained quite a bad eye injury, the reason why the doctor stopped the fight. So we were talking about Zhang fighting Tyson, but Joe said no, he didn’t want anyone in the middle and wanted the rematch.
“That tells you all you need to know about Joe Joyce. Straight in there, nobody else is getting in-between, ‘I’m in, I want to win my title back’.
“That was his prerogative, he insisted on it and we delivered it for him. It is now up to Joe. He is a sensible guy and one of the best people I have worked with in boxing, a nice person with a great team. He knows what he’s got to do and I think he has got the capability to win his title back.
“If he does that he becomes mandatory for the WBO version of the title and whoever is holding that after the fight between Usyk and Daniel Dubois, which takes place in August.”