in to face Joe Joyce if WBO title shot isn’t next for the Briton, writes Eric Armit
THE European Boxing Union (EBU) have ordered a bout between Joe Joyce and German veteran Marco Huck. As soon as I put this line on paper I realised I had written it before. In September 2019, when EBU champion Agit Kabayel resigned his title, the organisation stipulated that Huck and Joyce would have to box for the vacant championship.
Team Huck offered the proud sum of €480,000 and secured the rights to the fight with a purse bid. But it didn’t come to that: “The Captain” broke his hand in December 2019 and the match scheduled for January 11, 2020 in the Tui-Arena in Hanover was cancelled. Joyce would instead fight Daniel Dubois for the vacant belt. We all know what happened next. Yet it speaks of boxing’s barmy infrastructure that Dubois will this weekend fight for an Interim bauble while Joyce waits to see where he goes next.
The rights to Huck-Joyce will be auctioned again on June 14. Boxing News understands that Joyce and his team have a summer date they are already working towards for his next bout. The opponent, though, is still undecided. The fading 36-year-old Huck is not ranked in the Top 15 by any of the world sanctioning bodies but has a ‘name’ and the chance of a stay-busy outing for the Londoner.
Huck has been a rare sight in boxing rings of late. He only fought once a year in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Most recently against Dennis Lewandowski which was a safe, but unspectacular victory.
Joyce had been expecting to face Oleksandr Usyk for the Interim World Boxing Organisation belt to allow Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to fight for all four belts but that infamously fell apart. At this stage, the status of the WBO title is in limbo until Joshua decides if mandatory contender Usyk is his next opponent.
Frank Warren, Joyce’s promoter, recently told Boxing News that Joyce is still hoping to take on Usyk for the vacant WBO title if Joshua decides to fight someone else and is therefore stripped. Should Joshua-Usyk go ahead, Joyce will automatically become next in line for a shot at that belt.