World Boxing News has learned Joe Joyce is passing up on the chance to fight for the vacant Lonsdale Belt as stipulated by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The heavyweight contender is instead eyeing up a big top division name for a summer return once his debut under Frank Warren is out of the way.
Joyce fights Alexander Ustinov on May 18. The encounter forms part of the main card for Billy Joe Saunders’ world title fight with Shefat Isufi at Lamex Stadium.
A win over Ustinov will propel Joyce into the realm of potentially being one fight from a world title shot.
This means a clash with Daniel Dubois is off the menu until the British prospect makes it to the same level as Joyce.
Dubois can now concentrate on aiming for the strap relinquished by Hughie Fury earlier this year.
The BBBofC put Dubois forward, initially to face Fury. The ex-world title challenger and cousin of Tyson dropped out citing injury.
Despite Joyce having the first refusal, it seems Team ‘Juggernaut’ believe focusing on landing a world title is more beneficial at this stage of the Olympic silver medalist’s career.
As Nathan Gorman is ready and willing to step up, the Board are likely to approve an in-house Frank Warren clash for the 200 pounds plus title.
A favored date for Dubois v Gorman is set to be July 13. Joyce could also appear in a co-feature capacity, WBN understands.
Dubois v Gorman has been a long time coming and 2019 seems the perfect time to pit the two undefeated punchers together.
An announcement is expected as early as this week.
Promoter Frank Warren is excited to have a trio of big hitters currently based in Britain.
“In my opinion, we now have the three best up-and-coming heavyweights in the world on our books. A host of fantastic fights there to be made,” said Warren.
“I have always rated Joe. I’m delighted to finally get the chance to sign him up.
“Joe has impressed in every fight so far in the professional ranks. He’s only going to get better as he continues to step up the levels.
“With Joe, Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman all moving rapidly in the right direction, the fans can look forward to some massive heavyweight nights in the very near future.
I’d also like to extend a special thanks to both S-JAM Boxing and Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports for their help in completing this deal.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Richard over the years. We’ve worked on some great shows together. Along with S-JAM Boxing, they are doing a terrific job with Joe.
“I’m looking forward to working with them and delivering some big nights.”
Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports added: “Ever since turning pro, Joe Joyce has been on a mission. With spectacular performances he has become a top three rated Heavyweight. He is now zooming in on the ultimate price: The Heavyweight Championship of the World.
“With Frank Warren and his team, we have now the final piece in place. A partnership with the UK’s leading platform – BT Sports and the UK’s leading promoter Frank Warren.
“Furthermore, Joe will continue to thrill fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed exciting times ahead for fight fans across the world!”