Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce will fight a second time on Saturday, giving the former a chance to prove his upset knockout in April was no fluke.

VS. HEKKIE BUDLER (35-4, 11 KOs)

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 15
  • Time: 2 a.m. ET / 11 p.m. Sunday PT (main event later in show)
  • Where: Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • TV/Stream: ESPN+
  • Division: Junior flyweight (108 pounds)
  • At stake: Teraji’s WBA and WBC titles
  • Odds: Teraji 9-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
  • Pound-for-pound: None
  • Also on the card: Junto Nakatano vs. Argi Cortes, junior bantamweights (for Nakatani’s WBO title)
  • Prediction: Teraji UD
  • Background: Teraji, an excellent boxer-puncher, is a two-time 108-pound titleholder who became a unified champion last year. The 31-year-old from Kyoto won his first belt in 2017, successfully defended eight times and then lost it by a 10th-round TKO against Masamichi Yabuki in 2021. Teraji regained the title in an immediate rematch six months later, stopping Yabuki in three rounds. He unified in his next fight by knocking out Hiroto Kyoguchi in seven rounds. He last fought on April 8, stopping Anthony Olasuagain nine rounds . Teraji has never fought outside Japan. Budler is a former two-division beltholder, with a 6-3 record in world title fights. The 35-year-old South African lost two out of three fights in 2017 and 2018, after which he left the sport for 2½ years. He’s 3-0 in his comeback. The fight with Teraji might be his last chance to reclaim a spot among the best in the business.


ZHILEI ZHANG (25-1-1, 20 KOs)
VS. JOE JOYCE (15-1, 14 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (main event later in show)
  • Where: OVO Arena Wembley, London
  • TV/Stream: ESPN+
  • Division: Heavyweight (no limit)
  • At stake: No major titles
  • Odds: Even (average of multiple outlets)
  • Pound-for-pound: None
  • Also on the card: Anthony Yarde vs. TBA, light heavyweights; Sam Noakes vs. Carlos Perez, lightweights; Pierce O’Leary vs. Kane Gardner, junior welterweights; Zach Parker vs. Khalid Graidia, super middleweights
  • Prediction: Joyce UD
  • Background: Joyce was moving rapidly toward a shot at a heavyweight title when Zhang shocked him and the boxing world by stopping the Briton in six rounds on April 15. Zhang, a southpaw, used his punishing left hand to close Joyce’s right eye and force the referee to stop the fight. Zhang will have a chance to demonstrate that his victory was no fluke while Joyce fights to save his career as an elite fighter in the rematch. Zhang suffered his first career loss last August, when he lost a close decision to unbeaten Filip Hrgovic but pumped life into his career by giving a solid performance. Then came the opportunity to fight Joyce. The key to Zhang’s success wasn’t complicated: The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder couldn’t miss his straight left from beginning to end, which rattled Joyce several times and began to cause swelling on his eye after only a few rounds. Joyce had some success but couldn’t avoid Zhang’s left. We’ll see in the rematch whether he will have made the necessary adjustments to the turn the tables.


VS. JOSE ZEPEDA (37-3, 28 KOs)

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
  • Where: Caribe Royale, Orlando, Florida
  • TV/Stream: DAZN
  • Division: Junior welterweight (140 pounds)
  • At stake: No major titles
  • Odds: Hitchins 3½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
  • Pound-for-pound: None
  • Also on the card: Jessica McCaskill vs. Sandy Ryan, welterweights (for McCaskill’s WBA, WBC and WBO titles); Austin Williams vs. Steve Rolls, middleweights; Orestes Velazquez vs. Mohamed Soumaoro, junior welterweights
  • Prediction: Hitchins UD
  • Background: Hitchins is a rising 140-pound contender from New York City. The gifted 25-year-old has already faced some solid opponents but Zepeda – a fellow contender – arguably is his toughest test, at least on paper. Hitchins is coming off a shutout decision over previously unbeaten John Bauza on Feb. 4, his 11th consecutive victory over an opponent with a winning record. Zepeda is a three-time world title challenger known for his grit, which was most evident in his Fight of the Year performance against Ivan Baranchyk in 2020. The 34-year-old from the Los Angeles area was stopped in 11 rounds by Regis Prograis in a fight for a vacant 140-pound title last November. He rebounded to shut out journeyman Neeraj Goyat on March 25. A victory over Hitchins would be a significant step toward getting a fourth title shot.




  • Lester Martinez vs. Lionell Thompson, super middleweights, Plant City, Florida (ProBox TV)


  • Esteban Ibarra vs. Jose Angel Amaro, bantamweights, Monterrey, Mexico (DAZN)