Caroline Dubois is set to face Rio 2016 bronze medallist Mira Potkone in the next round of the Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying event – but that bout will take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.
The 19-year-old lightweight from Greenwich defeated Ala Staradub of Belarus via points at the weekend at the Copper Box Arena.
Dubois faces Potkone tomorrow with the victor progressing to the quarter finals of the competition.
“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” said the South Londoner, 19. “She is obviously a top seed but at the end of the day she only has two hands, two legs and one brain and that’s the same as I have.
“I know exactly what to expect and she knows exactly what to expect of me. It’s going to be a good fight for sure.
“There is no pressure being from London. I don’t even think about that. If anyone has pressure, it’s Mira Potkonen. How is she going to feel getting into the ring with a 19-year-old? In her mind she will be thinking that she can’t lose to someone my age.”
GB Boxing released a statement on Sunday: “Due to the changing situation with coronavirus and concerns for public, athlete and volunteer welfare the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has taken the decision that from Monday 16 March 2020 the Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will take place behind closed doors.”
There is now genuine doubt over whether South London’s two leading heavyweights will be able to go ahead with their next fights.
Daniel Dubois – the older brother of Caroline – is scheduled to face Joe Joyce at Greenwich’s 02 Arena on April 11 with the vacant European title just one of a number of belts on the line.
And Brixton’s Dillian Whyte is due to take on Russia’s Alexander Povetkin in Manchester on May 2.
Queensbury Promotions, who are staging the Dubois-Joyce show, issued a statement last Thursday – before Premier League and EFL cancelled fixtures until at least April 3 – claiming their show was “not in jeopardy”.
“All major public gatherings, including this near sell out event, are in the hands of the relevant authorities which in this case is the British Boxing Board of Control and the Government,” said Queensbury Promotions.
“Of course, Queensberry prioritise the wellbeing of those attending or participating in the event and will constantly monitor the government position and the health of the boxers. Any update will be posted online through our official channels and any announcements from other sources should be disregarded.”
Matchroom Boxing are due to promote the Whyte-Povetkin event.
Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn said: “The further things are away right now, the more chance they have of happening.
“We have to be led by the government. The British Board of Control will also follow the government in those decisions.”
INSET PICTURE BY MARK ROBINSON/MATCHROOM BOXING