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Dubios date set for clash with Joyce at the O2 Arena

The heavyweight clash between Greenwich puncher Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will now take place at The 02 Arena, London on Saturday October 24.

The showdown between British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver and WBO International champion Dubois and fellow Londoner Joyce, an Olympic silver medallist, had been scheduled for July 11 but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the date shift.

Government guidelines will continue to be strictly followed but with lockdown being eased promoter Frank Warren is optimistic that the battle, dubbed ‘Seek And Destroy’, will finally take place in October.

Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) and Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs) are within touching distance of a world title challenge and the winner will be in line to land a mandatory contender’s position with one of the major governing bodies, as well as adding the vacant EBU European heavyweight championship to their trophy cabinets.

Warren said: “It will be a fight to remember and what a boost for British boxing.

Joe Joyce in action

“Everyone wants to see it. Lockdown has meant a delay, but we all want the fight to take place in October and we are hopeful that the government will give us the all clear.

“What a position the winner will be in. They will be nailed on for a world title shot in 2021.”

Dubois, 22, who is ranked number five by the WBO  and seven in the latest WBC ratings said: “I’ll be ready to go in October for sure.

“It has been tough during lockdown, but I have ticked over and I’m back in the Peacock gym helping my sparring partner Dorin Krasmaru get ready for his behind closed doors fight on Frank Warren’s bill on July 10.

“Hopefully in the near future I will be able to get some good overseas sparring in. I’ll be ready for October 24, so I hope Joe is coming prepared.”

Joyce, 34, won the Commonwealth title in just his fourth fight and his best win came against former WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne via a sixth round KO in February 2019.

“It was great news to get the new date so I can finally punch up Dubois,” said the Putney man, who is already highly ranked by the WBC.

“Obviously once lockdown started I had a good idea we wouldn’t meet in July, but I was always staying on top of training.

“Now gyms are open for athletes I can kick on and just keep my focus on the new date, finally settling the score with Dubois and moving on to a world title fight.”

Existing ticket holders who cannot attend the rearranged date can get refunds from their point of purchase.

PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD

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