A much-anticipated heavyweight boxing match will be held in the most unusual of venues this weekend - the headquarters of the Church of England. Daniel Dubois will face off against Joe Joyce at the historic Church House Westminster on Saturday after the fight's original booking at the 02 Arena had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.
The room synonymous with the meeting of the General Synod will be kitted out with a boxing ring for the clash, although spectators will not be allowed in due to the coronavirus restrictions. Despite taking place "behind closed doors", the match will be broadcasted live on BT Sport, according to the venue.
Church House has played host to several historic occasions since it was originally built in the late 1800s, including the first-ever meeting of the United Nations Security Council, in January 1946. The building was struck by a bomb during The Blitz, but remarkably only suffered minor damage. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was impressed by its resilience, ordering its refurbishment and using the building as a choice venue for several of his speeches thereafter.
Veteran boxing promoter Frank Warren said he was "delighted to be able to confirm such a spectacular venue to host two weeks of fantastic big time boxing".
"It’ll be a more than fitting way to celebrate my forty years in professional boxing," he added. "Both these bouts are going to a battle for the history books, so it makes sense they’d take place in a venue so rich in history. Winston Churchill announced the sinking of the Bismarck inside this venue, and soon we’ll know who out of Dubois, Joyce, Yarde and Arthur will sink or swim.”
This weekend's fight will be followed up by another clash a week later, with fellow Brits Anthony Yarde and Lyndon Arthur set to meet at Church House on 5th December.