Frank Warren has officially announced Joe Joyce's return - although it's not quite what anyone was expecting.
The European heavyweight champion hasn't been seen on BT Sport ever since he knocked out Daniel Dubois in November of last year, with Dubois returning on Saturday night against Bogdan Dinu.
And while Dubois has been pushing for a rematch with Joyce ever since then, Queensberry promoter Warren says it won't be happening anytime soon, as Joyce's next opponent will probably be either Carlos Takam or Tony Yoka.
Joyce (12-0, 11 KO's) has long been touted as a possible opponent for Oleksandr Usyk, with both men showing interest in fighting each other in the past. However, the Ukrainian is most likely to face Anthony Joshua next instead, following Tyson Fury's trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder.
This has put Joyce in a difficult position, which Warren admits has been rather frustrating for the Olympic silver medallist, who is itching to get back out in the ring again after a lengthy period on the sidelines.
“Unfortunately with Joe, he had a really good win when he beat Daniel, and we’ve not been able to capitalise on it," Warren said to BT Sport Boxing. "The only way to capitalise on it, being number 2 in the WBO, he will become the mandatory challenger to the winner of Usyk and AJ if it takes place, providing they can agree terms.
“If AJ vacates the title, then Usyk will have to fight Joe. But we can’t sit around and keep waiting, which we’ve been doing and doing.
"So Joe will fight either on the 24th or 31st of July and those two names [Takam and Yoka] are really on that list."
“He needs a big name, he needs to be in with a big name, and he needs to move forward,” he added. “He’s an exceptional fighter at heavyweight and obviously he’ll be looking tonight at Daniel (Dubois) and thinking to himself ‘I need to get out’.
"He wants to be out, he’s been very patient and we’ve had to work hard as I say to keep that position in the WBO.
"Now he’s got to fight and he will be out next month.”News Now - Sport News