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Joe Joyce rules out retirement as he remains determined to challenge at 'top level' after rematch loss to Zhilei Zhang

Joe Joyce suffered knockout loss to Zhilei Zhang in heavyweight rematch in Wembley on Saturday night, but his management team have dismissed any talk of retirement by stating that the 38-year-old will "challenge at the top level"

Joe Joyce
Image: Joe Joyce suffered defeat to Zhilei Zhang in their heavyweight rematch at the weekend

Joe Joyce has dismissed any talk of retirement as he remains determined to "challenge at the top level" after his rematch loss to Zhilei Zhang.

The British contender was unable to regain the WBO interim heavyweight belt as he suffered a third-round knockout loss to Zhang at The AO Arena in Wembley on Saturday night.

Defeat also meant that Joyce could not reclaim a WBO mandatory title shot at unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, which he had earned before his first stoppage loss to Zhang in April.

But SJAM Management will discuss the 38-year-old's comeback in the next few days and are confident Joyce will again prove himself as one of the world's best after wins over Joseph Parker, Daniel Dubois and Carlos Takam.

Joe Joyce
Image: The British contender's only defeats have come against Zhang

"Joe is an elite warrior who constantly challenges himself against those at the top level of heavyweight boxing - he has one of the best CVs of any active heavyweight," said SJAM Management.

"He lost to an elite world-level fighter in Zhilei Zhang but will continue to challenge at the top level.

"We will meet as a team this week together with [promoters] Frank and George Warren and plan the way forward."

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Zhilei Zhang
Image: Zhang is targeting Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder

Zhang has called for a fight against Tyson Fury after his rematch victory, while his co-manager Terry Lane has revealed American Deontay Wilder could be another potential opponent.

But Saudi Arabia, the UK and America are more likely locations for Zhang's next fight, despite his rapidly growing popularity in China.

Homecoming fight in Zhang's plans?

Lane told Sky Sports: "There's just so many political and economic issues and hurdles to climb over to do that [stage a Zhang fight in China].

"We want to do it, we're still exploring it. Actually the Warrens and [promotional team] Top Rank are helping us as well.

"But we're going to make it happen, I just don't know when.

"We'll get across the finish line at some point."

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