Joe Joyce still confident of beating Daniel Dubois despite trainer Covid-19 blow

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Joe Joyce insists his trainer's Covid-19 shock won't wreck his hopes against Daniel Dubois tomorrow night (SAT).

The Juggernaut will not have head coach Ismael Salas in the corner after the Cuban tested positive for coronavirus this week.

But the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight title fight has been saved by the fact Salas has spent the last four weeks in Las Vegas.

Starsport revealed on Wednesday that the trainer had jetted back to the US to train two other fighters at the end of October.

He arrived in the UK on Saturday but was isolated from Joyce and his camp in case he would test positive.

Steve Broughton, who worked the corner for Joyce's last fight, and veteran trainer Jimmy Tibbs will now be in charge tomorrow night at Church House in Westminster.

“It is a shame but this is a massive fight the show must go on and I believe that I still have the team and experience to lead me to victory.

“It would have been much better to have Ismael in the corner between breaks but I am confident in my team and the addition of Jimmy Tibbs, who has been in a lot high-profile camps.

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“I would have rather Ismael would have stayed with me, he gave me some solid fundamentals, the three weeks or month we did have together were key.

“He has loads of fighters in Las Vegas and two of them are fighting very soon but I did hope that he would have had me as a priority for such a big fight and we did tell him that.”

Joyce has remained in contact with Salas via FaceTime and they will go through the fight plan again before he steps into the ring tomorrow night.

He added: “Ismael is going to send me some hints and tips to help me.

“I am not in unfamiliar territory. I believe in my ability and I believe I am going to win the fight.”

But it is a huge blow to Joyce who faces fellow unbeaten bruiser Dubois in a must-win fight.

It calls into question why his team did not bring in a new trainer once Salas left the country at the end of October.

The British Boxing Board of Control have given the fight the green light to remain on despite the positive test.

Salas flew to the UK and was quarantined in a hotel and did not travel or work with Joyce during the few days here.

He was immediately escorted out of the fight hotel in London once the positive test result was returned.

BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith said: “We've got correspondence, proof of flights and booking in etc, so we are satisfied that everything has been done correctly.

“It is within the protocols, we are satisfied he hasn't been with him for more than two weeks.”

*Daniel Dubois v Joe Joyce this Saturday is exclusively live for BT Sport subscribers

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