Boxing

Frank Warren brands Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce tune-up bouts ‘pain in the a***’

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Frank Warren is fully aware of the risks involved with throwing Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce, his two leading heavyweight prospects who are set to collide on October 24, into tune-up fights over the next month.

"It's a pain in the a***, I don't what to do it," he said after yesterday's joint press conference.

"It's a big risk. I mean, who wants to be doing this?

"You can't take anything for granted, and they're [facing] decent opponents. They are good, quality opponents, and our guys have got ring rust.

"They've been wrapped up, by the time Daniel fights probably about 10 months [sic], and Joe a year."

Joyce, 34, will go through the gears for the first time since July 2019 when he takes on Michael Wallisch at an empty BT Sport Studio this Saturday.

Should The Juggernaut prevail as expected, all eyes will turn to Dubois and his own clash with Erik Pfeifer at the same location on August 29.

With fans set to return to stadia across the country in October, Warren is buying time until he can match the pair together in front of an audience at London's O2 Arena.

They were initially scheduled to meet on April 11 and later July 11, only for the coronavirus pandemic to delay both contests.

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So if Boris Johnson's plans to allow supporters back into arenas falls through, would he consider pushing it back for a third time?

"It's something we've got to look at," Warren admitted.

"Unless we get a massive spike, there's gonna be crowds at football in September. And what they let them do obviously will follow on with what we do.

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"But it's all very well saying let's get some crowds in, if you can get it 20 per cent full that means you've got a seat here, that one's gonna be empty, the one behind it's gonna be empty.

"That ain't gonna look good on TV."

Warren led the way with Britain's first behind-closed-doors boxing event earlier this month, which saw Brad Foster successfully defend his Commonwealth and British super-bantamweight title against James Beech Jnr.

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Queensberry promotions carried out a thorough Covid-19 testing process in the seven days leading up to the event, with all results coming back negative.

And Warren insists the same precautionary measures are being taken ahead of Joyce's meeting with Wallisch this weekend.

He said: "These guys are now locked down. The opponents are locked down, the other guys will go in on Wednesday. And that's it. The referees are locked down. Everyone's done, they're tested, they're not out and about. We're on top of it.

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  • "I think from that aspect, certainly from the first show, we got it really right and I was really pleased with the way my team dealt with it.

    "What I was concerned about was how it would look. I've seen some of the other shows in Germany and in the States, and they've got a load of people sat there in masks and that. I thought, 'F****** hell. It looks surreal and horrible.'

    "At least in the studio you can light it, you can have different effects, and I think we got away with that."

    • Frank Warren

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