By Elliot Foster
Joe Joyce will not be fighting later this month.
The Commonwealth heavyweight champion was, according to Eddie Hearn, going to fight at the O2 Arena a week on Saturday.
Joyce, whose last fight was a one-round stoppage of Ivica Bacurin at York Hall in Bethnal Green last month, had been targeted as a potential replacement fighter for the supporting cast of Dillian Whyte's must-win heavyweight showdown against Joseph Parker on July 28.
Had he have taken the fight –– against fellow undefeated big man Nick Webb –– on the Sky Sports Box Office-aired show, Joyce would have replaced Kell Brook on the card.
Former IBF welterweight world champion Brook, who is the current WBC Silver super-welterweight champion, was set to take on Brandon Cook of Australia in an official eliminator for the world title at 154lbs.
But he has suffered a foot injury, meaning that he will no longer be able to make the date.
“To be clear: I was never scheduled to fight this month,” Joyce said in a statement on social media on Tuesday morning. “I was alerted by my promoter when I got back from my holiday a few days ago that there could be a potential fight against Nick Webb on July 28.”
The Juggernaut' then went on to reveal that he is no longer being trained by Ismael Salas.
“As it stands, I don't have a trainer, as he has moved to Doha and moved into semi-retirement,” he added. “I will announce my new trainer in due course.”
Joyce has followed Chris Eubank Jr. in ruling himself out of an appearance on the pay-per-view card next weekend.
Meanwhile, Joshua Buatsi will face a Russian former world title challenger on the card after the withdrawal of Ricky Summers.
The Rio Olympic bronze medallist had been set to face Summers for the vacant WBC International light-heavyweight championship, but Boxing Scene understands that Matchroom will confirm ex-Sergey Kovalev opponent Igor Mikhalkin as Buatsi's next foe in due course.
Katie Taylor will risk her WBA and IBF female world lightweight titles against her mandatory challenger Kimberly Connor on the bill, while Conor Benn will meet Cedrick Peynaud in a rematch of their 2017 fight of the year contender.
Anthony Fowler faces a step up against fellow undefeated super-welterweight Craig O'Brien, Dereck Chisora takes on former Anthony Joshua victim Carlos Takam and Charlie Duffield and Richard Riakporhe are scheduled to box.