Joe Joyce moved a step closer to a potential world heavyweight title shot in 2021 when he was confirmed at #2 in the latest WBO (World Boxing Organization) Heavyweight Rankings.
The 35-year-old Londoner recently improved his record to 12-0 as a pro (11 inside distance) with an upset defeat of the highly-touted Daniel Dubois.
Joyce swaps positions with beaten Dubois
The 23-year-old Dubois had a perfect 15-0 record heading into their November 28 showdown at London’s historic Church House. He was seen by many experts as the future of the heavyweight division.
But ‘Dynamite’ had no answer to Joyce’s damaging left lead, which gradually closed his left eye during a punishing night. Dubois eventually took a knee and was counted out in Round 10 with his eye completely closed. It was subsequently revealed he had suffered a fractured eye socket.
The victory puts Joyce on course for a potential title shot next year, and it has now been confirmed that he has swapped positions with Dubois as a result of his win. Joyce moves up to 2 while Dubois drops from 2 to 11.
WBO heavyweight rankings: Usyk vs Joyce for title?
This all means that if Anthony Joshua were to vacate the title to fight Tyson Fury next summer, Joyce would likely face mandatory contender Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant belt.
Usyk had cemented his position at #1 in the WBO rankings with a points defeat of Dereck Chisora at London’s Wembley Arena on October 31. That was Usyk’s second fight at heavyweight since moving up from cruiser, and he improved to 18-0 with a unanimous decision.
New Zealander Joseph Parker (27-2) remains at 3 on the list and he is slated to meet domestic rival Junior Fa (19-0) in a bout which has been postponed to early 2021.
WBO Heavyweight Rnkings: November 2020
1. Oleksandr Usyk (Super Champion)(Int-Cont)
2. Joe Joyce (International) UK
3. Joseph Parker NZ
4. Kubrat Pulev BUL
5. Andy Ruiz, Jr. USA
6. Junior Fa NZ
7. Frank Sanchez Faure (NABO) CUB
8. Michael Hunter USA
9. Zhilei Zhang CHN
10. Evgeny Romanov (WBO Global) RUS
11. Daniel Dubois UK
12. Fillip Hrgovic CRO
13. Demsey McKean (Asia-Pacific) AUS
14. Agit Kabayel GER
15. Dereck Chisora UK