Former heavyweight contender Joe Joyce is looking to rebound from the most brutal defeat of his career.

The London-based heavyweight said he expects to return to the ring in March against a yet-to-be-determined opponent, which would be his first fight since his devastating third-round knockout loss to China’s Zhilei Zhang in September at Wembley Arena in London. It was his second consecutive loss to the Chinese southpaw.

Joyce, 38, also hinted that if he took care of business in March, he may be able to garner a significant fight on a boxing card in Saudi Arabia, the oil-producing nation in the Middle East that is increasingly playing host to some of the biggest matchups in the sport. Joyce’s promoter, Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, is a lead promoter involved with backers in Saudi Arabia, which is coming off a high-profile card last week featuring Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in separate fights.

“I can’t really say right now, but a couple of names we’re going to go with,” Joyce told Boxing Social. “Yeah, it’d be nice to get back in the ring, get a nice win, and start looking at some of these serious fights. I mean, I’m confident but it’s also about getting a nice win back on home turf and possibly explore other avenues that have been brung up in a once in a lifetime kind of way.”

“You know, like, tonight [the Dec. 28 card in Saudi Arabia],” Joyce clarified.  

Joyce was being fast tracked to a title shot when he encountered Zhang in their first fight in April at Copper Box Arena. Zhang punished Joyce until the latter’s right eye was swollen shut, prompting the referee to stop the contest in the sixth round.

Joyce (15-2, 14 KOs) activated his contractual rematch but did not fare any better in the second meeting that took place five months later. Zhang wasted no time battering “The Juggernaut” before finishing matters with a right hook in the third round.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.