Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang had few problems in shocking Joe Joyce earlier this year at the Copper Box.

Back in April, Zhang captured the WBO interim-heavyweight title - and handed Joyce his first career defeat - with a stoppage win in the sixth round.

The fight was called off by the ringside physician after Joyce's right eye became swollen shut and he was unable to see. The eye took damage as the result of Zhang connecting with heavy left hands over and over throughout the fight.

“It’s quite enjoyable to be in the ring with him,” Zhang tells Standard Sport. “He’s not moving his head, he’s not changing his position and angles. That makes my job easier.”

During the fight, Zhang took some heavy blows and continued to come forward.

“He is definitely heavy-handed, but not as heavy as I would have imagined,” Zhang said.

Zhang was in talks to fight WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury - when those negotiations were derailed by Joyce exercising his immediate rematch clause.

Zhang was not expecting Joyce to demand an immediate rematch - because he doesn't believe the British fighter will be capable of adapting.

“I was a little surprised when I first heard about the rematch,” Zhang said. “It’s in the contract, I knew he would activate it one way or another. But I didn’t expect it to be so fast. I would have expected him to fight one or two interim bouts in between, get used to a style and then take the rematch.

“It’s not rocket science that you can’t change to a different style in a few months. That’s why the second fight will end even quicker.

“I don’t do anything other than eat, sleep and train. At this age, I still feel I can compete for the heavyweight title. I am 100% confident that I will beat all these guys.”