It has been reported how Ismael Salas, trainer of Joe Joyce, has tested positive for the coronavirus, this after arriving in the UK for Saturday night’s big fight between his guy Joyce and fellow unbeaten British big man Daniel Dubois. This is of course a bad blow for Joyce, with the 35 year old now having to go out and win the biggest fight of his career (so far) without the advice and wisdom of Salas in the corner.
Of course, the health of Salas is the most important thing here.
Salas was kind enough to exchange a few words with this writer via social media just moments ago, and Ismael says he is “feeling fine,” that he tested negative this past Friday and that he will be retested tomorrow in Las Vegas where he is based.
“Thank you [for asking], but actually I am fine,” Salas informed me. “Last Friday I got a negative [test]. I will retest tomorrow here in Las Vegas, but unfortunately I will not now be working the corner of Joe. But we are close in touch via FaceTime. And on fight night, my soul will be around. You guys enjoy a great fight on Saturday.”
So can Joyce now go on and win the crunch fight without his head trainer’s assistance? Joyce will no doubt believe that yes, of course he can – and will. Salas too is confident his man will get the win. However, should the worst happen (for Joyce, not for Dubois) and he does lose on Saturday, will this not be presented as the perfect and legit excuse? It wouldn’t be held against Joyce if he did lose and then put forth the absence of his head trainer as one of the big contributing factors that led to his defeat.
But as Salas says himself, we fans should get ready to see a great fight. Joyce is a pro and he will no doubt remain focused despite this bad luck blow.