Ismael Salas, the head trainer of Joe Joyce, has tested positive for Covid-19 before his Daniel Dubois bout.

Salas is now ruled out of working the corner on Saturday night.

But the fight has been saved because the Cuban coach was not in training camp for the last month with the heavyweight and has not blocked from being near him this week.

Salas was in Las Vegas working with two of his other fighters and flew to the UK on Saturday. He was kept apart from Joyce and the rest of his team as they feared this situation could happen.

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will face off in a highly anticipated heavyweight clash
Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will face off in a highly anticipated heavyweight clash

But it is still a huge blow for the Londoner ahead of the British, Commonwealth and European title clash.

It also brings into question why Joyce and his team didn't change trainers when Salas jetted back to the US at the end of October for what is the biggest fight in the pro career of the Rio Olympic silver medallist.

Joyce will have his other coach Steve Broughton in the corner alongside experienced trainer Jimmy Tibbs.

Boxing trainer Ismael Salas has tested positive for Covid-19
Boxing trainer Ismael Salas has tested positive for Covid-19

And his lawyer Adam Moralee has defended sticking with Salas despite the risk of him picking up the virus in the US.

He said: “We were concerned about Salas going back to Vegas, having left on the 31st of October.

“Being in a gym around other fighters we were concerned that he might contract coronavirus, it was a risk.

“We put measures in place to make sure that when he arrived back in the country, he was isolated from everyone.

Joe Joyce has won all 11 of his previous professional bouts
Joe Joyce has won all 11 of his previous professional bouts

“He has been away from everyone, especially Joe, he has been in a separate hotel, he got a separate taxi here, he was tested alone and went to his room

“Then his test came back positive and he has had to go straight home.

“Joe should have trained in Vegas with his coach but coronavirus has screwed everything up for everybody.

“Salas is a top coach with a lot of fighters and he tried to prioritise Joe Joyce, he did get over here, but he had to go back to Vegas because he is a loyal guy.”

Daniel Dubois has won all 15 of his previous professional bouts
Daniel Dubois has won all 15 of his previous professional bouts

Moralee revealed they did consider bringing in a new trainer in November but opted to stick with Broughton, who was in the corner for Joyce's win against Michael Wallisch.

He said: “Did we think about bringing in another trainer? Yes.

“But we believe that Steve Broughton is a world class trainer and we have the experience of Jimmy Tibbs, who has been in the corner for every Joe Joyce UK fight.

“Joe is absolutely fine, Steve has been his main trainer since May, including the Wallisch fight.

We wanted Salas with us the whole time but he had to work with his other fighters so he was unable to. We knew the risks.”