Anthony Joshua threatens to smash chair over Daniel Dubois’ head as brawl almost erupts

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois will fight in September
Joshua and Dubois met under the Wembley arch (Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom /Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua threatened to ‘smash a chair’ over Daniel Dubois’ head during a tense face-off that threatened to erupt into a brawl.

The British heavyweights will collide on 21 September at Wembley Stadium with the IBF world title on the line.

Their showdown was officially unveiled on Wednesday afternoon but before their press conference got underway in the capital, both fighters were involved in a photo shoot and various television promotion segments in front of the famous Wembley arch.

The mood turned sour with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn explaining how the two giants almost came to blows inside the corridors of the national team stadium.

‘It was at the end of the face-to-face. Somebody said “September 21 and not before”,’ Hearn told The Stomping Ground.

‘Daniel said “if you want to go now I’ll go now as well”. AJ then replied “Do you want me to smash this chair across your face?

‘He said, “Don’t ever disrespect me like that again”. They were all pulled apart, there wasn’t any punches thrown.

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois will fight in September
Joshua and Dubois will meet at Wembley in September (Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

‘When you say that to AJ he is a bad man, it was a really good face-off.’

Explaining the incident, Joshua told reporters: ‘We had a bit of aggro, it’s good. There are two aspects to it, the competitive side, the Queensbury Rules of boxing.

‘But there is also the instinct that one has, as a fighter. And that is just how it is.

‘Before I boxed, I was a good fighter, that’s an instinct you have when someone calls you out. He said “let’s go now”. And I said: “let’s go then”. No security, I just stepped away, I thought I would be the bigger man.’

Tensions had eased by the time Joshua and Dubois sat down at the press conference alongside undercard fighters. The two shared an icy stare down at the end of proceedings, not saying a word to each other as security watched on.

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois will fight in September
Joshua was all smiles again at the presser (Picture: James Fearn/Getty Images)

Dubois became ‘interim’ IBF champion following his thrilling victory over Filip Hrgovic in May and has now been upgraded to a full champion with his first defence of the belt coming against Joshua.

Joshua is seeking to become a three-time heavyweight champion, a feat which would see him join elite heavyweight company in Muhammad Ali, Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko.

Since losing the IBF, WBO and WBA titles to Usyk – losing to the Ukrainian in a rematch the following year – Joshua has been on a rampage in a bid to reclaim his spot at the top of heavyweight boxing,

The 2012 Olympian reeled off four victories inside 12 months against Jermaine Franklin, Robert Helenius, Otto Wallin and former UFC champion Francis Ngannou – the latter a devastating second round finish in Saudi Arabia in March.

Joshua vs Dubois undercard confirmed

Anthony Cacace vs Josh Warrington – IBF super-featherweight title
Liam Smith vs Josh Jelly
Tyler Denny vs Hamzah Sheeraz
Joshua Buatsi vs Willy Hutchinson
Mark Chamberlain vs Josh Padley

Dubois came up short in his first world title challenge against Usyk in August 2023, knocked out in Poland in the ninth round that night.

Since then, the Londoner has demonstrated his own grit with impressive wins over Jarrell Miller and Hrgovic – both wins coming in Saudi – to force his way back into the world title picture.

On a stacked undercard in the capital, newly-crowed IBF super-featherweight champion Anthony Cacace is set to defend his title against Josh Warrington. Cacace won his belt after a superb display against Joe Cordina in May.

Liam Smith will also return to action in his first bout since defeat to Chris Eubank Jr in September last year, up against Josh Kelly.

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