Frank Warren can envision a two-fight process to get Joe Joyce to the heavyweight title stage.

The Hall of Fame promoter believes time is on the side of his unbeaten heavyweight contender, who ended a 49-week layoff with a fourth-round knockout of Christian Hammer. The bout headlined the latest Queensberry Promotions show this past Saturday from Wembley’s OVO Arena.

There is no guarantee how soon London’s Joyce (14-0, 13KOs) can expect to cash in his WBO mandatory challenger status. For now, there is a clearer picture of how soon he will make his way back into the ring.

“He’ll fight the 24th of September,” Warren confirmed after Joyce’s latest win, which aired on BT Sport in the U.K. and ESPN+ in the U.S. “We’ll sit down and talk about opponents and see what’s next.”

The idea is to keep Joyce active for a number of reasons. For one, the 36-year-old heavyweight contender feels the need to make up for lost time, having fought just twice since a career-best tenth-round knockout of countryman Daniel Dubois in November 2020.

There is also the matter of waiting out the August 20 WBA/ ‘Super’/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight title fight rematch between unified champ Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) and former two-time titlist Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22KOs). The winner is expected to have to make at least one mandatory title defense if not two. Joyce has been the WBO number-one contender since last summer, while Dubois (18-1, 17KOs) holds the WBA ‘World’ title.

Warren promotes both heavyweights, as well as lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs). There are a number of options to throw at the Usyk-Joshua rematch winner, though job once is to make sure that Joyce is as prepared as possible for the opportunity whenever it arrives.

“He’s the WBO mandatory challenger,” noted Warren. “The 20th of August once the rematch happens between Usyk and AJ, it’s all gonna shake out. One way or another it’s all gonna shake out.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox