SID KHAN, the man who taught Joe Joyce to box and older brother of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, says boxing needs the Heavyweight super-fight between Daniel Dubois and his Putney protege in October.
The showdown between Dubois and Joyce is now scheduled for London’s O2 on Saturday October 24 and todays announcement by Boris Johnson that fans might be allowed back in stadia by October has increased hopes the Heavyweight clash can finally be held.
Khan, head coach at Earlsfield ABC, helped turn Joyce into one of Britain’s most successful amateur boxers ever even though the Putney man only started boxing 12 years ago at the age of 22.
“Boxing needs a big bout like this and people want it in October. Without professional boxing we will be in trouble,” said Sid who has been coaching for around 40 years.
“Boxing needs this fight in October.”
Since Lockdown, Dubois and Joyce have been booked in tricky behind-closed-doors battles against German opposition in Michael Wallisch (23-0, 13KO’s) and Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5KO’s) respectively.
Joe steps into the ring with Wallisch next Saturday, July 25th, before Dubois returns on August 29th.
Both German opponents have made it clear their intention is to spoil the party and derail Frank Warren’s plans to stage the huge domestic Heavyweight clash but Khan is hopeful that despite the many obstacles it’s faced, the fight will still go ahead as planned.
“Let’s hope it does go off… and we will see what happens, but I’m hoping Joe does the business. I personally think he’s unbeatable.
“One of my coaches bought five tickets for the original date in April for the club coaches and we still have them in place even though refunds were offered by the box office.”
Joyce, 34, was a keep fitter when he walked into Khan’s famous South West London gym and was working as a swimming instructor.
Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, silver at the 2013 European Amateur Championships and bronze at the 2015 World Championships.
He had to be content with silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, dropping a controversial decision against Tony Yoka in the final.
Khan added: “Anything we asked Joe to do he would and he won so many national titles at Earlsfield.
“His Mum lives near the gym and he usually pops in, but I haven’t seen him for a good five months because of coronavirus and before that he was training in America.
“I have spoken to him on the phone, but he usually pops in, hits the bags and has a laugh with the boys.
“I will say, it is very hard to read Joe. He just shrugs his shoulders and gets on with it.
“You have to have a bit of banter to get him going, but if you told him training tomorrow was climbing Mount Snowdon he would go for it.”
Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs) is the early bookies favourite and Khan groaned: “People have Dubois winning already, but let us see what happens.
“As much as I like Dubois I don’t think he has been challenged.
“It is such an exciting bout to watch, but it won’t go the distance. They are both bangers and can really hit. It all depends what the game plan of their coaches is.
“The boxer does the hard bit, but there are still people behind them who have to guide them the right way.
“It depends on how well they have prepared because there are a lot of different factors with coronavirus. Are they getting the sparring? Are they getting the right training?”
Tickets are now on sale via AXS.com and Ticketmaster.co.uk
Ticket Prices: £400 Ringside – Hospitality £300 Floor £200 Floor £150 Floor/Tier £100 Tier £80 Tier £55 Upper Tier £40 Upper Tier