With the British Boxing Board of Control ordering Joe Joyce vs Daniel Dubois for the vacant British heavyweight title, Danny Flexen wonders which man will withdraw
I blame Hughie Lewis Fury. The talented heavyweight, licking his wounds and contemplating his next move following a points defeat to Kubrat Pulev in an IBF eliminator, has vacated the British heavyweight title. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC), as you would expect them to do, have selected the two standout British heavyweights who are not competing consistently at world level, and ordered a vacant title fight between them. But Joe Joyce vs Daniel Dubois, while a mouthwatering battle of unbeaten Londoners, is unlikely to happen next or anytime soon. The Board have ordered purse bids to be opened on April 10, but each man seems to be on a path that very much avoids the other’s. Putney "Juggernaut" Joyce is only 8-0 but took silver at the 2016 Olympic Games and is the WBA ’Gold’ champion, which presumably puts him on the verge of a shot at that body’s ’Regular’ belt at least. He destroyed a former world champion in Bermane Stiverne last time out and appears to already be far beyond the domestic title. As for Dubois, the 10-0 (9) hot prospect from Greenwich, only qualified to vie for the legendary Lonsdale Belt last September when he turned 21. He next fights Richard Lartey on April 27 at Wembley Arena, having looked superb in despatching former WBO title challenger Razvan Cojanu a few weeks ago. He seems to be on a collision course with fellow undefeated Frank Warren heavyweight, Nathan Gorman, who gets Kevin Johnson this Saturday in Leicester. Those two are expected to meet later this year. Ideally, Joyce would be the man to withdraw, allowing Dubois to face someone else for the vacant British championship. A handful of fans may accuse him of ’ducking’ the younger man but anyone with an ounce of sense would surely see the logic in such a decision. Perhaps Gorman would then be nominated to fill the void, bringing Warren’s planned fight forward by six months. Having said that, the likes of David Price and David Allen (who has actually won an eliminator for the strap) may have something to say about that. We wait with bated breath.