COVID season has made it difficult for matchmakers and promoters to secure certain fights, even those matchups that were on the board pre-pandemic. One such fight is that of the U.K. based, and uber-popular, Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois. The two super prospects, with a combined total of only 26 professional fights, Joyce 11-0, 10KOs, and Dubois 15-0, 14KOs, have built-up a very marketable rivalry.
Despite the fact that neither fighter is on the world stage, the kind of world stage shared by the Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua’s of the world, this matchup is one of the most anticipated within the heavyweight division.
The fight was originally planned for April 11, at the cusp of pandemic-caused shutdowns. In an overly optimistic move, the fight was rescheduled for July 11 but was quickly scrapped once it became apparent that the world would not be ready. That brings us to October 24th, the latest date change.
Boxingscene first reported that the fight would likely not make that October date and would instead land sometime in late November, likely the 21st or 28th. The issue with the latest changes were based on any hope of staging an event with a crowd in attendance – Warren himself warned that the fight itself could hinge on whether fans would be allowed to attend. But the UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson, later announced that, in an effort to diminish risks associated with a second wave, he would tighten coronavirus restrictions by outlawing social gatherings of more than six people.
Now, it appears as though the fight will happen before the end of 2020, regardless of fan attendance. Both fighters have taken to Instagram to announce the plans to move forward with the fight despite the multiple reports suggesting the unlikeliness of the event.
Dubois posted a photo with a caption that read “Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce agree terms to fight behind closed doors before the end of 2020.” The 23yr old posted with a comment as well, “No more waiting. This is my time and I truly believe I am going to knock Joe Joyce out in devastating style.” -Dubois IG.
A similar post came from Joyce who commented, “We held out for a LIVE crowd, but this Fight is happening regardless. No excuses and no backing out. The best #JUGGERNAUT will be entering the ring before the end of the year. I have never been more up for a Fight in my life! #THEJUGGERNAUT.”
Queensberry Promotion’s Frank Warren, the promotional outfit of both fighters, also took to his official IG to confirm the news.
“Delighted to confirm that terms have been agreed for @dynamite_daniel_dubois vs @joejoyceboxing to take place behind closed doors in 2020.” -Frank Warren’s IG
Regardless of whether the fight takes place on the two dates rumored in November, the fight could likely find itself on PPV due to the lack of paid attendance.