The huge Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce domestic heavyweight showdown is set for a further delay according to promoter Frank Warren.
Dubois (15-0) and Joyce (11-0) had produced a virtual sellout at London’s O2 Arena when planned for April, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the UK. A rescheduled date of July 11 also bit the dust.
It had finally been hoped the bout would go ahead on Saturday October 24, but a new surge in COVID cases means the meeting of the two unbeaten British prospects is likely to be pushed back to November at least.
Warren, whose Queensberry Promotions handles both fighters, told talkSPORT : “It looks like we’re pushing that back now because we were hoping at that stage to get an audience in there.
“And we’re still liaising at the moment with the government department dealing with that.
“We’re hoping that we will have a live audience in November there, so we’re working hard to get it on. But obviously we’re in the government’s hands.
“The big problem is obviously we’ve got a spike at the moment, so who knows? Every day it changes. But we do have to have some sort of audience there to make this work.”
Warren used the example of Tyson Fury’s rematch win over Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in February to emphasise the importance of a live gate to how well a fight performs financially. Fury’s victory raked in almost $17million through the MGM Grand turnstiles – a new record for a heavyweight bout.
The current situation in the UK meanwhile, with pilot events with small crowds only just starting again, does not allow for the sort of gate Warren needs to put the fight on.
He explained: “Well they were talking about maybe letting us get 20/25 per cent in. Whether that’s gonna happen or not, I’ve got no idea now because we don’t know where we are.
“And even that’s not enough. The show was virtually sold out, so it means that 75 per cent of the people will not be able to go to the show whatever happens…”