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Joe Joyce To Face Derek Chisora On July 27 At The O2 Arena

Joe Joyce To Face Derek Chisora On July 27 At The O2 Arena featured image
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Joe Joyce and Derek Chisora face off during the Queensberry Media Day press conference at Studio 338 on May 22, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by James Fearn/Getty Images)

The career of Joe Joyce has spiraled down following his two losses against Zhilei Zhang, with his recently-announced bout against Derek Chisora on July 27th serving as a confirmation that the former WBO interim champion no longer intends to seriously compete in the heavyweight division. Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions will be promoting the show that will be headlined by the two British heavyweights. The O2 Arena, set in London, will be the venue where Joyce and Chisora will battle.

While Joe Joyce (16-2, 15 KO’s) was once regarded as a likely contender for a heavyweight world title,, this is no longer the case with the recent decision by Queensberry Promotions to match him with Derek Chisora (34-13, 23 KO’s); which serves as a stern reality check as to how Joyce’s career has declined since losing to Zhilei Zhang (26-2-1, 21 KO’s) twice last year.

Chisora, 40, has been on the decline for roughly half a decade and has most prominently been used by younger heavyweights as a “gatekeeper”; veteran boxers who cannot compete at the top level but still provide a challenge for aging prospects or would-be contenders. A win over American heavyweight Gerald Washington (20-6-1, 13 KO’s) last year confirmed Chisora’s gatekeeper status, which reflects badly on Joyce who once upon a time was a genuine heavyweight contender.

Joyce, 38, last arguably fought a British journeyman in Kash Ali (21-3, 12 KO’s) in March of this year, almost going the full 10 rounds with Ali before knocking him out in the last round; a performance that showcased Joyce had not significantly improved since his back-to-back losses to Zhang.

While the Ali fight had been considered a way for Joe Joyce to return to the ring and remain active, the level of Joyce’s opponent signaled the lack of ambition of the fighter to truly improve and challenge himself; with there being plenty of unranked heavyweights that could pose an actual threat to Joyce while at the same time present Joyce with the opportunity to actually gain the necessary experience to potentially contend in the future.

With Derek Chisora having now come into the picture, this even more insinuates that either Queensberry Promotions or Joe Joyce himself has abandoned any notions of becoming a top heavyweight contender. Though Chisora may yet be considered a gatekeeper even at the age of 40, the damage he accrued throughout his long career makes the fight a relative mismatch that does nothing to help Joyce improve in any manner competitively.

The fight can be considered to be a “stay busy” fight, meant to keep Joyce active rather than genuinely make steps towards becoming a heavyweight contender, but the choice of Chisora specifically spells more so that there is no actual ambition on Joyce’s part to seriously participate in the heavyweight division.

To make matters worse, the fight is set to feature at the esteemed O2 Arena in London, suggesting that Queensberry Promotions is attempting to dupe the public by promoting a heavily-mismatched fight that means nothing for the career of Joe Joyce in the long run.

Then there are concerns for Chisora himself, having fought for over 16 years as professional as a heavyweight and therefore likely not in the best condition as opposed to other heavyweights that Joyce could fight instead.