Joe Joyce left 'heartbroken' after spending thousands on Daniel Dubois fight camp before fight postponement

Matt Davies
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

British heavyweight boxer Joe Joyce was heartbroken after hearing his highly anticipated bout with Daniel Dubois had been postponed, manager Sam Jones has revealed.

The bout was originally scheduled for April 11 but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced promoter Frank Warren to push the date back to July 11.

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The British Boxing Board of Control on Monday announced all events would be suspended until the end of April, with a meeting to take place next month to decide the next steps.

Joyce has been significantly impacted financially, but also mentally with his last two scheduled fights now being cancelled.

Speakinig to Bonus Code Bets, Jones said: "The reality is we paid for flights for our team and the sparring partner from the UK. Then we were paying weekly for four US-based sparring partners. The UFC training facility, the very nice villa we were living in out in Vegas.

Joyce beat Bryant Jennings on points last time out (Getty Images)
Joyce beat Bryant Jennings on points last time out (Getty Images)

"We are talking thousands and thousands of pounds and I'm not talking about small thousands - big thousands - all invested into a camp that you can't claim back because boxers are self-employed. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

"At first, we were trying to put it to the back of our minds but then it became a serious problem. Flights were getting cancelled. We were hearing Donald Trump could make it difficult for us to get back to the UK, so we needed to make a decision."

A number of sporting events were taken behind closed doors before more strict isolation measures were introduced. Jones said that this was never a possibility, however.

"We were very much prepared to finish the camp in the UK, prepared to fly the coach over," he said. "There was talk of fights happening behind closed doors, but it would have been unfair.

"Both boys deserve the biggest night of their careers, inside a packed O2 Arena. We eventually got told it was near-on impossible for the fight to go ahead and we were given July 11.

"It's a worldwide disaster but things will settle down. Unless something crazy happens, I am very confident and wholeheartedly believe it's going to go ahead on July 11th.

"We were at the business end of camp, so Joe is now having a week off with his family. He'll then start ticking over with his strength and conditioning coach and look to head back to the US, or Ismael Salas will come over to the UK. We haven't quite decided that yet."

Regardless of the delay, Jones believes the result will be the same and equally as emphatic.

"It's going to be a different date with the same result," he said. "Joe is going to stop Daniel Dubois. It's going to be a car crash at the O2 Arena and it's only going to end one way.

"This is the biggest fight of Joe's career, five or six belts on the line, the winner goes on to a guaranteed world title shot. The date has been pushed back but this fight will happen - the fans have demanded it."

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