'Juggernaut' Joyce and 'Dynamite' Dubois agree new date for their much-anticipated showdown after the original bout was postponed.
The undefeated pair of Joyce and Dubois agreed on terms last year and were due to go head to head on April 11, but that date had to be shifted, prompting uncertainty over when they’d face off at all. The mammoth bout was scheduled to take place at the O2 Arena in London, the scene of Joyce’s most recent victory on a points decision against American fighter Bryant Jennings. Whilst it didn’t make the April date, hopes have now been raised of the match taking place in July, with the evening of the 11th in the diary.
Dubois is one of the country's brightest heavyweight prospects after defeating British rival and promotional stablemate Nathan Gorman to capture the British heavyweight title in July. Having stopped 13 of his 14 opponents, he poses a serious threat to Olympic medallist Joyce from Putney.
34-year-old Joyce starred in the last Olympic games at Rio. Gala Bingo notes how Team GB astonished the world by finishing second in 2016, with Joyce winning the final medal (silver) for the nation. This kicked off his professional career in much the same way it did for Anthony Joshua after London 2012. The boxing star has since put together a run of 10 bouts without defeat, nine of them not reaching the distance.
The British and Commonwealth Heavyweight belts, both held by 22-year-old Dubois, will be on the line in July, as will the vacant European title. That belt is vacant after champion Agit Kabayel withdrew from his mandatory defence against Joyce, something the London-born fighter expressed his disappointment about to World Boxing News.
“I’m very disappointed. I would have liked to challenge Kabayel for the European title. He obviously never wanted to fight me in the first place,” he said.
Kabayel, the undefeated German fighter who defeated Dereck Chisora in 2017, is now set to face Mariusz Wach for the vacant WBA Continental heavyweight title and will make either Joyce or Dubois wait for a potential showdown further down the line. But in stepping aside he adds further spice to the tantalising battle of Britain between Joyce and Dubois.
Joyce impressed against Jennings on the undercard of the Dubois and Gorman bout back in July 2019, but hasn’t fought since, whilst Dubois has enjoyed two further wins. He beat Ebenezer Tetteh in the first round for the Commonwealth and WBO International heavyweight titles in September, before stopping Kyotaro Fujimoto in two rounds to add the WBC Silver heavyweight title to his collection three months later.
Following the postponement of their original bout, fans were told tickets would still be valid for the rearranged fight, but those who cannot attend can claim a refund.
The evening promises to be an exciting one with another stellar bout on the undercard, where Welsh fighter Chris Jenkins will get a chance to defend his British welterweight title against Peckham-born Johnny Garton. It is the second time the pair will face off, with Jenkins having inflicted only the second defeat of Garton’s career on him back in the March 2019 entralling encounter, which fight fans will be delighted to see fhappen a second time.