British heavyweight Joe Joyce says his fight against compatriot Daniel Dubois is the biggest moment of his career.
The 2016 Olympic silver medallist will fight Dubois on 24 October after their highly anticipated bout was rearranged because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is what I got into boxing for,” said 34-year-old Joyce, whose last fight was in July 2019.
Joyce will warm up for the bout against Dubois by fighting Michael Wallisch on Saturday.
“It’s good that I’m getting this fight going ahead now and it will be good preparation for the big one in October,” said Joyce, who is unbeaten in 10 professional bouts.
“But I’m not going to take Michael Wallisch lightly because he’s a skilful boxer and he’s got a lot of experience. I have to keep switched on.”
He added: “When I come through this big challenge in Dubois then there are those big three or four names out there for afterwards.
“I’ve got to deal with what’s in front of me in Wallisch first and then I’ll have to deal with Dubois.”
Dubois, who has won all 14 of his professional contests, will fight Erik Pfeifer on 29 August as he prepares to face Joyce.
“Fighting is what I do, I love to do it. So this guy is the next opponent, perfect preparation for the Joyce fight. Pfeifer has a good record, he’s undefeated anyway and it’ll be a good challenge,” said Dubois.
British fighters hold all the major heavyweight titles with Anthony Joshua having the IBF, WBA and WBO crowns, while Tyson Fury is the WBC champion.
“British boxing is booming and I’m glad I’m in the mix. I just need to keep winning and once I keep winning, this will all turn out and I’ll be challenging for the big belts soon,” added Dubois.
BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello
Joe Joyce is appearing for the first time in more than a year. At the age of 34, he was being fast tracked but the shutdown has been a road block.
He is up against a German in Wallisch. You would have to expect Joyce not only to win but to win well and impress.
BBC Radio 5 Live boxing analyst Steve Bunce
Joe Joyce’s first 10 fights were cracking. I think they were inventive fights – five or six of them. It’s been a disastrous year for Joe Joyce. I think he would say that.
A European title fight fell through, then he switched trainers. The pandemic hit, so the April fight with Dubois fell out of bed. They just have to get Joyce out. No heavyweight can take a year out when they are going at speed.
I expect Joe to go out there and try to win inside three minutes but what he has actually benefited from is the six weeks with a fight in sight, so you’re getting your head and body ready.