By Elliot Foster

Joe Joyce has been forced into a last-minute opponent change.

The Commonwealth heavyweight champion will be back in the ring on Friday.

Joyce is an Olympic silver medallist and, after beating Lenroy Thomas inside two rounds at the O2 Arena in London last month, is set to come back to the capital to make his first defence.

‘The Juggernaut’ will top the bill on one of Hayemaker Ringstar’s Fight Night shows on UKTV channel Dave.

But instead of facing original foe Richard Lartey of Ghana, who was only confirmed as the man in the opposite corner last week, the 32-year-old will now face a Croatian at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue.

Lartey has been replaced by Ivica Bacurin, a former Tony Bellew victim who is lacking in danger and who has been defeated 13 times in a 43-fight career.

Bacurin has fought all over the world and is known to British fight fans for going rounds with Dillian Whyte, who stopped him in six, as well as the aforementioned Liverpudlian Bellew.

He also fought Michael Wallisch for the WBO heavyweight title in 2016, losing over 12, and has been stopped only five times in a 10-year pro career.

The hope for Joyce will be that he will be kept busy after what you would imagine will be a routine victory.

IN OTHER NEWS: Danny Dignum is set for a quick return after advancing his unbeaten ledger recently.

The undefeated super-middleweight scraped past Anthony Fox on June 6 to keep his unblemished ledger.

Dignum edged a 57-56 points win over Fox at York Hall, as part of the supporting cast to Lawrence Okolie's three-round demolition over Luke Watkins as he added the Commonwealth cruiserweight title to the WBA Continental belt he already held.

That fight took place at the famous Bethnal Green venue, on the latest instalment of Matchroom Boxing's JDNXTGEN series, and Dignum will be back at the same location in his next fight.

The 26-year-old, from Essex, has been confirmed as an addition to MTK London's 'Seize The City' card on July 13.

He will be joined on the card by Kieron Conway, Siar Ozgul, Dan Azeez and Mitch Frearson.

The card is topped by Vijender Singh's defence of the Commonwealth middleweight title against Lee Markham and features a tasty match-up between Larry Ekundayo and John Thain and an outing for Zuhayr Al-Qahtani.