GOING TO GET HEAVY AT WEMBLEY
By Frank Warren
THE HEAVY MOB are coming to town on July 24 at the SSE Arena, Wembley when the Big Juggernaut, Joe Joyce, resumes his mission to hit the pinnacle of the heavyweight pecking order.
Joe, who has been matched tough throughout his professional career to date, really put a marker down in the division late last year when he toppled a formidable young force in Daniel Dubois.
It was a close run thing and Daniel’s eye injury put an end to proceedings. Joe fought a tactically astute fight and proved that he has got more strings to his bow than many might have imagined.
Our subsequent lobbying saw to it that Joe took up the No.2 spot in the rankings behind Oleksandr Usyk, who occupies top spot by virtue of being WBO world champion at cruiserweight when he elected to move up.
In fact, I have ensured that Joe will be mandatory challenger for whoever emerges victorious between AJ and Usyk.
Of course, we were originally hoping that Joe and Usyk would face each other for Interim title honours, while Tyson Fury and Joshua battled for the status of undisputed, but it was ultimately not to be.
But Joe is in a good position and he can make another huge statement by defeating Carlos Takam at Wembley in a fight he not only needs to win, but win well. I am sure he is determined to put on a show for the watching world.
It is a high quality match-up and Takam is a serious operator who will be gunning for victory himself and looking to improve his own prospects moving forward. This is the sort of company Joe needs to be keeping in the ring and these are the fights we will deliver for him while we await his shot at a world title, potentially against Joshua.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out with the belts. Ideally, they will remain largely unified until Tyson and Joshua name the date but, should they become fragmented, it will create significant opportunities for the up and coming heavies – including Joe and Daniel.
I am happy with the return route we carved out for Daniel via the WBA, where he is now Interim champion. The next step for him is to challenge for the WBA world title currently held by Trevor Bryan, with Joshua holding ‘super champion’ status.
For both Joe and Daniel it is about being in position and ready to seize the moment when opportunity knocks.
We’ve headlined the show on July 24 as ‘A Heavy Night’ and I anticipate us showcasing our other heavyweights, such as Nathan Gorman and David Adeleye, on the night to maintain the theme.
It will be a night for the big fellas and also, I very much hope, a night for a big bumper crowd in at Wembley as British boxing should be fully open for business by then.
I WAS PLEASED to secure a big fight on a home show for one of our leading young fighters last week when our purse bid to stage the European super bantamweight title fight between the champion Jason Cunningham and our Brad Foster was successful.
Our bid topped the one submitted by the reportedly deep coffers of Matchroom. It does go to show that if we were bankrolled by the billions of DAZN we really would be dangerous!
We wanted to back our man and Brad’s performances and achievements since joining up with us are worthy of such support. For him to be outright British, Commonwealth and IBF International champion within 16 fights at the age of just 23 is a remarkable feat.
For him to have done this with zero amateur grounding is astonishing. It is a measure of the young man and a result of his natural talent for combat and serious application.
Cunningham is a vastly experienced performer who has been around the block a few times and he will represent a big test for Brad, but it is one I am confident he will pass with flying colours.
We will look to get the fight on in late August close to his home patch in the Midlands, where we are developing something of a stronghold and the likes of Lennox Clarke – our British super middleweight champion – and Liam Davies – English bantamweight champion – can look forward to a home fixture.