Dubois’s promoter, Frank Warren, made an application to the WBA for Bryan (22-0, 15KOs) to be ordered to defend his title against the former British champion straight after his defense against Jonathan Guidry (17-1-2, 10KOs) at the weekend. 

Carlos Chavez, the WBA’s Championships Committee Chairman, issued a ruling that immediate negotiations for a Bryan-Dubois fight, with it taking place within 180 days of the Bryan-Guidry contest. That means it must take place by July 28. 

An objection to the application was made by representatives of Mahmoud Charr (32-4, 18KOs), who previously held the WBA “World” belt. Charr, who had been “Champion in Recess,” was stripped of the title in January after being unable to get a visa to travel to the United States to face Bryan. 

The Don King-promoted Bryan, 32, ended up stopping Bermane Stiverne (25-5-1, 21KOs) in 11 rounds for the vacant title in January 2021, before he beat Guidry via a split decision on the first anniversary of that bout at the weekend. 

Dubois (15-1, 14KOs), 24, suffered his only career loss to Joe Joyce (13-0, 12KOs) in November 2020, winning two fights since. He knocked out Bogdan Dinu in two rounds for the WBA “interim” title (no longer in existence) and then stopped Joe Cusumano in one round last August. 

The WBA’s No 3 and No 4 heavyweight contenders, Robert Helenius (31-3, 20KOs) and Hughie Fury (26-3, 15KOs), have also been matched in an eliminator with the same July 28 deadline. 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.