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Joe Joyce vs Daniel Dubois likely to be pushed back again

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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The highly-anticipated showdown between rising heavyweight stars Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 11-0 (10) and Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 15-0 (14) looks to be in jeopardy once again.

The fight was expected to take place on October 24 at London’s O2 Arena.

But the UK government has imposed strict restrictions on social gatherings due to come in force on Monday after a rise in positive coronavirus cases.

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Promoter Frank Warren has restated there is “no way” for the fight to proceed without a live gate.

Warren was hopeful the fight would proceed in October after two previous postponements but has now conceded that is unlikely.

He would still like to see the fight happen before Christmas.

“At the moment, we are not really sure what’s happening,” Warren told iFL TV. “We’re waiting to find out whether we’ll be allowed people into the venue.

“I think it’s looking highly unlikely we’ll have any live audience in October.”

The new restrictions combined with the limited lead time to promote the event have effectively forced Warren’s hand.

“Legally, it’s going to make a difference. The venues are going to have to comply with the regulations and rules to put on live events,” Warren continued.

“Hopefully we’ll get something on before Christmas, but there’s no way at the moment we can be running that show in October if we haven’t got some live audience.”

Dubois and Joyce were originally set to clash at the O2 Arena on April 11 before the global coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down boxing worldwide.

The rescheduled date of July 11 was also scrapped with a working date of October 24 put in place.

So-called “test events” took place in July with both Warren and rival promoter Eddie Hearn promoting televised cards without a live crowd.

But while the fights themselves were a success, the lack of a live gate severely impacted the profitability of the shows.

Dubois, 23, scored an easy second-round knockout victory over late replacement Ricardo Snijders from the Netherlands at the BT Sport Studio in London on August 29.

The Dutchman was down three times in the opening round before being stopped from a body shot in the following frame.

After a 12-month absence from the ring, the 34-year-old Joyce also had a tune-up bout while waiting for the Dubois scrap to be rescheduled, taking out Michael Wallisch in three rounds at the same venue on July 25.

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