THE BIG JUGGERNAUT, Joe Joyce, will take on former world champion Joseph Parker on 24 September at the AO Arena in Manchester exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, promoted by Frank Warren for Queensberry Promotions in association with BOXXER.
The heavyweight collision between No.1 and No.2 in the WBO rankings, as well as being rated at No.2 and No.3 by the WBC, will represent a shootout to determine who will be made mandatory challenger for the winner of the forthcoming rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.
Joyce, 14-0 (13 KOs), is the holder of the WBO International, WBC Silver and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, having recently relinquished the British. The 36-year-old was last in action at the OVO Arena, Wembley in July, emphatically defeating Christian Hammer via a fourth-round stoppage.
A wrist injury kept the Putney man out of action for the first part of this year.
Former WBO world champion Parker, 30-2 (21 KOs), won the title in 2016 with a points victory over Andy Ruiz in Auckland. He successfully defended against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury before suffering defeat in a unification battle with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff in March 2018.
The 30-year-old is currently on a six-fight winning streak, following points loss to Dillian Whyte in July 2018, with the run including successive victories over Dereck Chisora, both in Manchester.
Fans can look forward to an array of established and up-and-coming Queensberry talent on display on the ‘Nowhere to Run’ undercard that will be announced in the coming weeks.
The fighters will come face-to-face today at the kick-off press conference which will be streamed across BT Sport and Queensberry social channels from 2pm.
WATCH the press conference LIVE via the Queensberry YouTube channel here.
“This is a fantastic fight that really keeps the heavyweight ball rolling,” added promoter Frank Warren. “It has proved to be a little while in the making, but this is a match between two in-form and quality heavyweights fighting to be first in the queue for a world title shot.
“It is one the fans want to see so I am delighted to be taking this blockbuster fight to Manchester, the biggest indoor arena in the country, which we want to see packed to the rafters.
“Joseph Parker is obviously a well-known and highly respected fight figure over here in the UK, both for his exploits in the ring and him working alongside Tyson Fury up in Morecambe. He also looks a greatly improved heavyweight since teaming up with Andy Lee and his defeat of Dereck Chisora last time out was a comprehensive one.
“This is the perfect test of big Joe’s world championship credentials and victory over Parker would propel him into the top echelons of the division and right in the mix with the likes of Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.”
“This fight has been a long time in the making,” said Joe Joyce. “Parker realised he had nowhere else to go and eventually had to take this fight. No. 1 Vs No. 2. The winner goes on to fight for the World Title! It’s going to be a cracking fight and you will see why he tried so hard to avoid me!”
Joseph Parker said: “On Saturday, September 24th, the fans in Manchester will see the very best of me. Joe Joyce will see exactly why I will become the heavyweight champion of the world again with BOXXER. I am working hard with my trainer Andy Lee, everything is going smoothly and I truly feel great. I have waited patiently to get this fight on and let me tell you now, the Juggernaut’s journey ends right here. He has nowhere to run.”
BOXXER CEO and Founder Ben Shalom said: “The fans have waited for this one and so has Joseph. It provides him with the perfect opportunity to realise his world title ambitions.
“He has rightly earned a reputation as one of the most respected heavyweight fighters on the planet. And I am confident he will soon become a world champion again. He is looking in great shape, thanks to the hard work and dedication he is putting in at the gym. Joe Joyce might be ranked No.1 by the WBO but he is seriously in for the toughest night of his career.”
“We have delivered it, we wanted to make the fight and it is an important fight between the WBO No.1 in Joe and the WBO No.2 Joseph. These two are no ordinary Joes, they are two exceptional fighters and I think we are going to get something a bit special on the night. You look at their records, they’ve got fabulous records, with Joe Joyce 14 fights undefeated with 13 KOs and an amateur pedigree which is impeccable.
“Then we’ve got Joseph Parker, a former world champion, whose only defeats came against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. This is, I think, a big crossroads fight for him. Can he get past Joe Joyce? Nobody has managed to do it yet because he has a fantastic engine in him, a great chin, he is solid and has also got a great punch – and a great workrate, the same as Joseph Parker. We know Parker comes to fight and one thing is for sure here, it will be a great fight.
“It is all on the line and you know why? Because it is such a big prize for the winner. The winner of this fight will become mandatory challenger to the winner of the fight on the 20th between Usyk and Joshua. So they have got everything to gain here, everything is on the line, this is what it is all about. This is heavyweight boxing at its best. It is not just two guys having a fight, there is a prize, a big prize at the end of the night for the winner. It is a massive incentive so these guys are going to put it on the line big time and the fans will get an unbelievable, phenomenal, bonanza fight.
“All anyone needs to know is that it is happening. What went on behind the scenes went on behind the scenes. We all worked very hard and Joe Joyce has been so patient, along with his manager Adam, and we all kept our eyes on the prize and had tunnel vision on this. My son George did all the negotiations with Ben and did a great job and between them we got it on. All that matters now is that these two guys are signed up and will be in the ring on September 24. That is all that matters. All the other stuff is in the past, that has gone, what we have got to look forward to is an absolutely unbelievable fight – a heavyweight bang-up at its best!”
“Now the fight is happening it is giving the fans what they want because it is going to be a great fight and I can’t wait to just knock him out for all this time waiting and all the messing about when we could have had it in July. He was just wasting my time. I think he will try his hardest to hit me and do whatever he has done in camp but, at the end of the day, I am gonna win and knock you out. Little Joe is going to tickle me on September 24.
“I would say I am more like the older George Foreman, the second one who won the world title. I am close to that age now and I am still knocking you out. I back myself, but I am the A fighter and I am entitled to my rematch clause. The fight is on now and I can put some dents into your face. What a night it is going to be, it is the best fight out there and there can only be one winner. The best on the night will be me, preferably. I am really excited for it and it is good I had a fight inbetween to get me back in the ring after being out a long time. I am excited to be in the best fight, the best shape and really put a dent in his face.”
“I see this fight as a great fight for both Joes. He may be bigger, but the bigger they are the harder they… fall. So I think it is a great fight with us both ranked highly by the WBO and the WBC and it is a fight that I have always wanted. I am thankful to Boxxer and Sky and BT and Frank for making this fight happen. It is a fight that a lot of people wanted to see, a fight that I wanted and Joe wanted – and now we are here.
“I am very excited to start camp with Andy Lee next week and I am going to have the best preparation. There is no reaction to people saying I ducked the fight because we are here now and the reason for that is we want the fight. We have come to an agreement that everyone is happy with. I am going to beat him out, get the win and get out of there. That is what I’m going to do.”
“I’ve been talking to David Higgins about this fight since the end of December 2021 when he told me he had an exclusive period of negotiation with Matchroom which came to an end and we started negotiating. It has been… horrendous, negotiating with those guys. Every time you think it is done, they are like Colombo, just one more thing, just one more thing. Joe Parker is a terrific guy and I know it is not him, it is his team and you do your best for your athlete, I understand that. His team just take it to the extreme and I really thought it meant Joe Parker didn’t want this fight by behaving in that manner. But I think he does want this fight and is true to his world.
“He is a world champion, he is a top level, top class guy and it is an amazing test for Joe Joyce, one he has always wanted. I sat down with Frank and George Warren after the last fight and I said this is our list and Joe Parker was right at the top. Joe Joyce has got to keep proving himself, he has always had to do it ever since the start of his career. He was the guy they all said was too slow and can’t do this and can’t do that. He proves everyone wrong every time. I think most people probably have this as a 50-50 but he will come through this as well.”
“First of all, thanks to Queensberry. I think it was the fight all the fans wanted and when we signed Joseph this is what they were crying out for. I didn’t understand that they thought it couldn’t happen just because he signed with us and I hope boxing can now move in a direction. We know it is very competitive between broadcasters but, at the end of the day, we all work in boxing and want the best fights.
“Joseph Parker wanted this fight the moment he signed for us and we obviously put in that offer that Frank didn’t react to very nicely. That got us talking and we saw eye to eye after that. All we wanted was to make the fight, all Frank wanted was to make the fight and it has been a great experience. We are looking forward to an unbelievable fight and what Frank says is right, there is so much on the line with this one. There is so much money now in heavyweight boxing and for those world titles, so between the two of them now they have got a life-changing opportunity. Obviously Joseph Parker wants to become world champion for the second time and we believe he can.
“He has got the speed, he has got the movement, he has got the experience that I feel Joe Joyce doesn’t have in the professional world. He has been there, he’s done it and he is clearly improving as well. We think this is the perfect fight for Joseph Parker, we think perhaps Joe Joyce has made a mistake in this one and we think his style is all wrong for Joe Joyce. We think it is going to be a difficult fight but, we think over 12 rounds, Joseph Parker won’t get hit much and he will be very, very busy. It is an intriguing fight with a clash of styles as well, but we think Joe Parker has Joe Joyce’s number in this one.”
Tickets for ‘Nowhere to Run’ – the heavyweight clash between Joe Joyce and Joe Parker – are priced from £40 and will go on sale at 12pm on Tuesday, 9 August exclusively from Ticketmaster.co.uk.