Joe Joyce vs. Joseph Parker was almost announced when Tyson Fury fought Dillian Whyte last month, but it turns out the fanfare was slightly premature.
The two heavyweights were reunited for a joint TV interview at Wembley Stadium during the PPV show in which they confirmed they intended to meet on July 2 with contracts set to be signed .
A month later, however, no official confirmation has followed.
Promoter Frank Warren has now explained to iFL TV: “It’s been dragging on.
“We did it and everything was good for July.
“But there was one problem and that is Joe Parker can’t fight because his trainer Andy Lee’s wife has a baby due apparently the week of the fight so he can’t train.
“We had to push it back now to September, but in the meantime, Joe [Joyce] go outside.
“So we are looking to offer him some opponents.
“Hopefully we’ll have that nailed down in the next 24/48 hours and announce it for July 2.”
It’s unclear at this point who Joyce might face next instead, but Warren is adamant that the fight against Parker will take place in September.
“If our man wins, then we are ready, we will, absolutely,” he added.
“It’s not our fault, we wanted the fight, Joe wanted the fight.
“Unfortunately, Joe Parker is unavailable.”
Joyce is currently the highest ranked heavyweight contender in the WBO and in line to be the mandatory challenger going forward.
Currently, that belt is held by Oleksandr Usyk, who is heading into a rematch defense against Anthony Joshua – targeted for July 23.
However, there is no guarantee that a title shot will soon follow for Joyce, as Usyk himself was WBO mandatory when he challenged AJ in September.
The sanctioning body typically allows 18 months between proxies for their “super” champions – a distinction Usyk holds.
Therefore, Joyce’s shot is more likely to come in mid-2023, hence his desire to stay active with a big fight against Parker in the meantime.
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