All systems go for April 11

posted on: 11/02/2020

THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren

EVERYBODY ENJOYED A lively launch to the Dubois-Joyce festivities at the BT Tower on Friday and it would be true to say that both of our big fellas acted a little out of character.

Young Daniel showed right from first thing in the morning on Good Morning Britain that he was not about to be the silent partner in this enterprise and was not slow to tell big Joe exactly what he intends doing to him.

Nobody has prompted these two to increase the volume before the huge showdown at the o2 Arena on April 11, I suspect it is more that both realise the magnitude of the fight they have signed up for and want to seize every little advantage along the way and, if that means speaking up, then so be it.

I am not all that surprised about Daniel having a bit more to say for himself because his confidence is growing all the time and his character will show itself more as a result. His public profile is soaring and he is gradually adapting to the attention he receives.

What did take me aback a bit was Daniel giving Joe a big shove when the two went head-to-head and Joe got up a bit close. That was out of character and is not something I expect to see repeated over the course of the build-up.

Both Daniel and Joe are very business-like and their focus will be on one thing from now on and that is getting ready for the biggest domestic collision of the year, one which has met with the approval of fight fans right across the board.

Everyone has a contrasting opinion over the outcome and that is what you want. There are no certainties in this one.

The Joyce camp seemed to enjoy poking a bit of fun at the ring record of Daniel during the media conference and came up with a couple of baffling claims, including that he has fought nobody with a winning record…

The truth of the matter is Daniel has not fought anyone with a record in deficit and Joe will actually be the third unbeaten fighter he has taken on in his last four fights.

We have matched our man strategically across his 14-fight pro career to pick up experience, rankings and titles. He has gone through the traditional process from Southern Area through to British and Commonwealth, while also winning coveted international belts that have placed him highly in the rankings.

I think some people underestimate his win over Nathan Gorman. I would confidently back Nathan against anyone on Joe’s record and I am also certain that Daniel would overcome those opponents in a more brutal and speedy fashion.

Joe’s team keep banging on about Kyotaro Fujimoto, but that job was chosen because the Japanese enjoyed a lofty ranking with the WBA. He wasn’t just picked as pointless fodder and it was a fight that also saw Daniel add the WBC Silver title to his collection.

All this being said does not detract from the fact that I am a huge fan of Joe and we proudly represent him on a promotional basis. I think he is a top, top heavyweight and that is what makes this forthcoming fight with Daniel such an appealing prospect.

It has got all the makings of a classic heavyweight ding-dong.

Some people have pointed to the fact that I am taking sides with Daniel but this is because he has been with us from day one and is a cornerstone of our promotional business. If Joe beats him, the same as if Nathan Gorman had, he will push himself to the forefront.

However, it is no secret that I believe Daniel to be the best young heavyweight in world boxing and, as I revealed to the press men on Friday, I am delighted that he has signed a five-year extension to his existing contract with us that will see us looking after his interests for most of the rest of this decade.

I believe this to be a fantastic development for both parties and I also believe he will be our next world heavyweight champion after Tyson Fury has settled his score with Deontay Wilder on February 22.

FANS WHO FOLLOW the fight scene beyond these shores will have noticed Anthony Yarde returning to action in a low-key affair in Spain over the weekend and scoring a second round stoppage.

Anthony Yarde

The thinking behind this little ‘run-out’ was two-fold. Firstly, he had been struggling with a hand problem that he wanted to test out away from the fanfare of a televised promotion. Secondly, it puts him back on a win and ready to go should title opportunities arise.

The WBO, for instance, don’t entertain contenders for title shots or eliminators if they are coming in off a loss. Now Anthony is up and running again we can navigate him back to world title contention at the earliest opportunity.

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