Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois almost came to blows as they met face to face at the launch of their September 21 world heavyweight title fight.

As the mood turned ugly at an across-the-table TV promo filming both rose angrily to their feet Dubois brandished a fist and said: ‘Right. Let’s do it here now.’

Joshua explained his reaction: ‘I said let’s go but then stepped back. There are two elements at work in this. Boxing under the Queensberry Rules and our fighting instincts.

‘I chose to be the bigger man ‘

Burly security staff stepped in hurriedly to keep the two English rivals apart.

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois nearly came to blows as they met ahead of their world title fight

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois nearly came to blows as they met ahead of their world title fight

Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois nearly came to blows as they met ahead of their world title fight

It was revealed on Wednesday Joshua and Dubois will face off for the IBF belt on September 21

It was revealed on Wednesday Joshua and Dubois will face off for the IBF belt on September 21

It was revealed on Wednesday Joshua and Dubois will face off for the IBF belt on September 21

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed AJ swung a chair after feeling 'disrespected'

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed AJ swung a chair after feeling 'disrespected'

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn (right) revealed AJ swung a chair after feeling ‘disrespected’

Promoter Frank Warren said; ‘This was serious. We don’t need any stunts to sell this fight.’

Wembley Stadium will be sold out in no time. ‘Who won’t want to see two British giants with massive punching power go at each other. It’s what heavyweight boxing is all about.

‘Daniel is really up for this fight already. And the big pressure is on Joshua at this later stage of his career.’

Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, added: ‘It was at the end when they said, “September 21st and not before,” and Daniel said, “Well if you want to go now, I’ll go now.”

‘AJ said, “Do you want me to smash this chair across your face? Don’t ever disrespect me like that again.” And he went for him. They had to be pulled apart.’

Dubois said: ‘I’m now dreaming every night about knocking him out and walking away.’

The flare up reportedly came in the corridors of Wembley Arena after Oleksandr Usyk gifted Joshua the chance to become a three-time world heavyweight champion by taking on this Battle of Britain.

Usyk sent a video message to the pair, both of whom he has beaten – AJ twice – en route to becoming the first undisputed champion of the four-belt era.

He said: ‘My friends The IBF title is my present to you,’

But his gesture in vacating that alpha-belt denies Tyson Fury the chance of finally becoming the undisputed world champion in their December rematch in Saudi Arabia

The WBC, WBA, and WBO titles will still be on the line in Riyadh in Christmas week. But if the Gypsy King is ever to scoop the pool he will have to avenge his defeat by Usyk and then hope that the winner of Dubois-Joshua agrees to fight him in 2025.

And the question is whether Fury will be as highly motivated in December without the lure of the ultimate prize.

Dubois cut short a Brazilian holiday on Rio’s bikini laden Copacabana Beach to fly home to this showdown.

He found out that the IBF had promoted him from interim to full world champion when he switched on his mobile phone upon landing.

Dubois explained how he had been 'dreaming every night' about knocking his fellow Brit out

Dubois explained how he had been 'dreaming every night' about knocking his fellow Brit out

Dubois explained how he had been ‘dreaming every night’ about knocking his fellow Brit out 

The fight comes with Oleksandr Usyk vacating his IBF belt ahead of a rematch with Tyson Fury

The fight comes with Oleksandr Usyk vacating his IBF belt ahead of a rematch with Tyson Fury

The fight comes with Oleksandr Usyk vacating his IBF belt ahead of a rematch with Tyson Fury

‘I saw the news on social media’ he said. ‘In a way I would have preferred to win the title in the ring. But I’ll take care of that by beating AJ’.

The IBF had been agonising over whether to strip Usyk of their belt and thereby break up the first undisputed championship battle for almost two decades. Ukraine’s idol simplified that decision.

Dubois also simplified their decision with his sensational knock out of their mandatory contender Filip Hrgovic. Usyk’s ‘present’ enabled the IBF to sanction Joshua v Dubois.

Money-pulling power is how the posters label that fight but in fact Joshua will be the challenger.

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