IBF to Decide Whether Joshua-Dubois Will Be a Championship Fight

Daniel Dubois’ stirring seventh-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Filip Hrgovic on Saturday led quickly to confirmation that talks will occur for a showdown against UK countryman and former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on September 21 at Wembley Stadium.

Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren said his 26-year-old IBF interim heavyweight champion will seek the Riyadh Season-backed bout against Joshua at Wembley, where Joshua has fought four times – including his memorable stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko before 90,000 fans in 2017.

What remains unclear is whether the IBF will order the bout as a full heavyweight title fight.

“I don’t want to speculate – I haven’t talked to anyone about the heavyweights moving forward,” IBF president Daryl Peoples told BoxingScene in a text message on Monday.

Peoples said before Hrgovic-Dubois that IBF rules stipulate that its champion is not able to participate in a rematch when his mandatory defense is due.

Such potentially applies to Oleksandr Usyk, who became the undisputed heavyweight champion in May when defeating Tyson Fury via split decision in Saudi Arabia.

Then-mandatory challenger Hrgovic was targeting a fight with Joshua for the IBF title, forcing the organisation to affirm its rules following his two-year wait as their leading contender.

Usyk then filed a request for an exception, asking that his scheduled rematch with Fury on December 21 remains an undisputed title fight. Warren promotes both Fury and Dubois, so how fervently he will push for the full IBF belt to be on the line remains to be seen.

Peoples said Warren and Dubois have yet to request that the future bout with Joshua be cast as an interim title defense.

“[Dubois] is the interim champion and the new mandatory contender,” he confirmed.

Peoples said it’s “too early” to determine whether the IBF will order Joshua-Dubois for the full belt.