By Yann Tear
Joe Joyce, also known as Juggernaut, will take on former world champion Joseph Parker next month at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The heavyweight collision between No.1 and No.2 in the WBO rankings, takes place on September 24.
The pair, also rated at No.2 and No.3 by the WBC, will effectively be in 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 title.
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.
The 30-year-old New Zealander 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 a points loss to Dillian Whyte in July 2018, with the run including successive victories over Dereck Chisora, both in Manchester.
“This fight has been a long time in the making,” said Joyce. “Parker realised he had nowhere else to go and eventually had to take this fight. 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.”
Parker said: “Joe Joyce will see exactly why I will become the heavyweight champion of the world again. 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.”
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.
Promoter Frank Warren said: “This is a fantastic fight that really keeps the heavyweight ball rolling. 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.”
He added: “Joseph Parker is obviously a well-known and highly respected fight figure over here in the UK.
“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.”
Picture: Queensberry Promotions