World Boxing News understands Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois have indeed agreed to a date for their blockbuster UK heavyweight clash in 2020.
A Pay-Per-View outing on BT Sport Box Office has been pencilled in for April 18, provided nothing further happens in the interim.
WBN believes the purse bid to be held on February 12 could be key to whether the contest gets over the line and contracts are inked for the spring.
Joyce has been put forward by the European Boxing Union to face Filip Hrgovic for the vacant title. This comes after Marco Huck had ruled himself out through injury.
Less than two weeks remain until both sides are expected to launch their bids to stage the bout, with the matter now the potential catalyst for signatures on the Dubois clash.
Having the EBU strap up for grabs for a battle with Dubois towards the end of the year is certainly of interest to both parties. Especially as Dubois has based his impressive career thus far on claiming ‘every belt’ on offer.
Should Hrgovic get hold of the blue strap, Dubois would face Joyce without a belt on the line and then potentially battle Hrgovic later in the year.
The only problem is a future purse bid of his own for Hrgovic means going up against Sauerland and DAZN. Dubois may well be at risk of losing the bid.
On the flip side, should Joyce and his team win the rights to the Hrgovic encounter on February 12, the Croatian may well decide to go in another direction entirely.
This would leave Frank Warren in a position to lobby for Joyce vs Dubois to have the EBU title at stake for their huge PPV clash, set to take place at The O2.
At this point in time, Joyce vs Dubois is on. With only the formalities of the purse bid to conduct before everything can move forward.
Should Hrgovic win the bid, Sauerland would then be looking further down the EBU ratings for the next challenger.
At present, Hrgovic is rated number eight. Anyone below that mark would be approachable. The rest have either ruled themselves out or are unavailable.
EBU RATINGS (December 2019)
1 Tyson FURY (GB)
2 Dillan WHYTE (GB)
3 Aleksander USYK (UA)
4 Aleksander POVETKIN (RU)
5 Dereck CHISORA (GB)
6 Kubrat PULEV (BG)
7 Agit KABAYEL (DE)
8 Filip HRGOVIC (HR)
9 Carlos TAKAM (FR)
10 Umut CAMKIRAN (TK)
11 Hughie FURY (GB)
12 Robert HELENIUS (FI)
13 Herve HUBEAUX (BE)
14 Erkan TEPER (DE)
15 David PRICE (GB)
16 Tom SCHWARZ (DE)
17 Andriy RUDENKO (UA)
18 Marcin SIWY (PL)