Daniel Dubois ordered to fight for the title Anthony Joshua ‘rejected’ | Boxing | Sport

Daniel Dubois ordered to fight for the title Anthony Joshua 'rejected' | Boxing | Sport

Daniel Dubois has been ordered by the EBU to face Ryad Merhy for the vacant European heavyweight title – a belt Anthony Joshua rejected the opportunity to fight for earlier in his career. Dubois was unable to win the European strap when he fought for it against Joe Joyce back in November 2020 but he has now been given a second bite at the cherry.  

The Brit is coming off arguably the best win of his career over Jarrell Miller on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ bill in Saudi Arabia and is looking to get his name back into the world title picture again following an unsuccessful shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s WBA (Super), IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

Merhy is also flying high after a big win over Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka in his last outing. The Belgian boxer, who is 32-2 in the paid ranks, beat Yoka via a split decision two months ago in France as he bounced back from a loss to Kevin Lerena. 

Lerena was, of course, knocked out by Dubois in 2022 when Triple D picked himself up off the canvas three times in the opening round to stop the South African puncher in the third stanza.

A win over Merhy wouldn’t do much to improve his standings with the four major boxing sanctioning bodies but the allure of a European title may be enough to tempt Dubois into taking up the challenge. The European title remains one of the few belts that Joshua hasn’t got his hands on during his glistening professional career.

He was given the opportunity to fight for the strap against Derek Chisora in 2016 but rejected the order so that he could land himself a shot at Charles Martin’s IBF belt instead. “Unfortunately Joshua did not accept to dispute the EBU title.” confirmed EBU General Secretary Enza Jacoponi at the time. “So the vacant title will be disputed between Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev.”

AJ went on to win the world title from Martin in one of the most dominant showings of his career, stopping the American in the second round in front of a packed-out O2 Arena.

Meanwhile, Chisora was beaten over the distance by Pulev in Germany although Del Boy would exact his revenge six years later when he defeated his old foe on home soil. Chisora is now represented by Joshua’s 258 Management and is good friends with the Watford powerhouse.

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