PRINCE HARRY has more chance of winning the Royal of the Year award than Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce losing their next fights.
Promoter Frank Warren is hoping to stage Dynamite Dubois’ defence of his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against The Juggernaut Joyce, at London’s O2 Arena on October 24.
The clash has been postponed twice because of the coronavirus crisis.
It is the most eagerly awaited all-British heavyweight battle since Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno — defending his world title — in Cardiff 27 years ago.
Joyce has been out of action for a year due to the pandemic, while Dubois will have been idle for nine months.
Warren reluctantly agreed to allow the two unbeaten world championship contenders to feature behind closed doors at BT’s Stratford studios.
Joyce tackles German Michael Wallisch, 34, on July 25, and Dubois goes in with German-based Russian Erik Pfeifer, 33, on August 29.
Though both are competent, their records suggest the distance between them and a top-ten ranking is about as far apart as Land’s End and John O’Groats.
Defeat for Dubois or Joyce — though highly improbable — would obviously destroy boxing’s Oktoberfest.
The risk to Daniel and Joe may be very small.
Yet when heavyweights are concerned, just one lucky punch is all it takes to shatter dreams and sometimes put an end to a promising career.
I have seen many great fights that were signed and sealed, yet were never delivered because they were destroyed by the unexpected.
In 1973, there was intense excitement and anticipation when European heavyweight champion Joe Bugner and bitter rival Danny McAlinden agreed to meet in a unification fight at Earls Court.
Jack Solomons, McAlinden’s promoter, inexplicably insisted he needed a warm-up contest and brought in American journeyman Morris Jackson to give him a paid work-out.
Jackson knocked out Danny boy in the third and the Bugner promotion was buried forever.
Evander Holyfield, signed a £9.5million contract to challenge Mike Tyson for his world title as soon as the unbeaten Baddest Man on the Planet disposed of no-hoper Buster Douglas.
I sat next to Holyfield in the Tokyo Dome in 1990 as he watched 12million greenbacks shredded into waste paper when Douglas KO’d Iron Mike.
They did eventually meet, but it was six years later.
Aaron Pryor was to receive £600,000 – an untold fortune for him – to challenge Sugar Ray Leonard for the world welterweight crown, which had Fight of the Year written all over it.
Pryor was listening to his car radio when it was announced Leonard had suffered a detached retina and the fight was off.
Aaron said he pulled into the kerb and burst into tears. He never did fight Leonard.
And by forcing Don Curry to quit on his stool to lift the world welterweight belt in the upset of the 1980s, Lloyd Honeyghan ruined the Curry-Marvin Hagler duel American fans had dreamed about.
Warren told me: “The last thing I wanted to do was put the Dubois-Joyce fight at risk — it’s huge and every fan can’t wait to see it.
“But Danny and Joe have been away from the ring so long, I felt duty bound to allow them to get involved in something more meaningful than sparring.
“I’ll sleep much easier when I know they have come through unharmed.”
We know the dangers where heavyweights are concerned.
As Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher, warned 2,000 years ago: “The only certainty is that nothing is certain.”
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