Joe Joyce might have a warm-up fight before facing Daniel Dubois in a clash of unbeaten British heavyweights in April.
Joyce, the Olympic super-heavyweight silver medallist, has been out of action since July. He had been due to face Marco Huck for the vacant European heavyweight title in Hanover, Germany, this month, only for the former WBO cruiserweight champion to withdraw with a hand injury.
The cancellation of that fight, with no new date yet forthcoming, left the possibility for Joyce to face Dubois, the British and Commonwealth champion, who was once his sparring partner on the Great Britain Olympic squad.
Talks have been ongoing since last month, but Frank Warren, Dubois’s promoter, is hopeful a deal can be agreed, although it is likely to include a warm-up fight for Joyce to allow him to shake off any ring rust.
“We’re still working on it, but I think we will get there,” Warren said.
It is understood that April 11 at the O2 Arena, London, is the target date for the fight.
Warren has hopes that Dubois, 22, who has won all his 14 fights (13 by stoppage) will be in position as mandatory to one of the division’s world titles by the end of 2020. He is already ranked No 5 by the WBO, a position that could instantly advance by two places if Oleksandr Usyk and Joseph Parker end up boxing for the vacant world title.
Joyce holds the WBA’s “gold” title, although where that leaves him in their pecking order is anyone’s guess.