Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce have been obstacles in each-other’s lives for over seven months but the heavyweights will finally meet at the fourth attempt of asking on Saturday 28th November, during a blistering period of British boxing.
The biggest all-British heavyweight bout in many a year pits the raw 23-year-old Daniel Dubois against the 35 year-old amateur veteran, Joe Joyce, with fireworks expected, and a victorious British heavyweight set to make global strides on the heavyweight horizon.
February 7th 2020
The fight is originally scheduled to take place on 11th April 2020 at the O2 Arena, London.
March 17th 2020
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the fight is rescheduled for 11th July 2020 set to remain at the O2 Arena, London.
May 15th 2020
The fight is once against cancelled with an unspecified autumn date targeted.
June 25th 2020
Frank Warren announces a new date of 24th October 2020 for the domestic dust-up.
July 25th 2020
Joe Joyce beats Michael Wallisch by TKO in 3 rounds.
August 29th 2020
Daniel Dubois beats Ricardo Snijders by TKO in 2 rounds.
September 3rd 2020
Government guidance rules out the possibility of a crowd being present for the fight which again cancels it.
October 6th 2020
Finally a date of 28th November is confirmed with Church House, Westminster later revealed as the venue.
Through all the trials and tribulations, we are finally here; Dynamite Dubois meets Juggernaut Joyce.
Firstly, both men have to be applauded for persevering to make this fight happen so early in either of their professional endeavours.
How have they got to this point?
While Dubois, at just 23, is obviously the fresher of the two fighters, since making his debut in 2017, he has amassed 15 wins. Arguably, the biggest win of those came against fellow British prospect Nathan Gorman, whom he dispatched pretty easily in 5 rounds. I would argue, though, that we learnt more about Dubois in his slugfest with Ghana’s Richard Lartey, as both men exchanged at will in the centre of ring.
While Dubois got the job done even quicker than he did against Gorman, his chin was tested by Lartey and he passed the first gut check of his career empathically. While some may argue that Lartey exposed certain vulnerabilities in Dubois, I actually look at this fight as a positive because every heavyweight will have their chin tested at some point and Dubois managed to come through this unscathed. Saying that, he will have to swallow his pride if he takes a shot from Joyce and not walk onto an even bigger one in an effort to even things up.
Joe Joyce, loyal to the amateur game, turned over as a professional at the age of 32, and has thrown himself in with quality opposition in an effort to fast-track himself to world level. He has already beat names such as Ian Lewison, Bermane Stiverne, Alexander Ustinov and Bryant Jennings, amassing a professional record of 11-0.
It is not controversial to say that, despite having fewer fights, in the professional ranks, he has faced far superior tests comparatively than Daniel Dubois. While this obviously does not equate to him being better than Dubois, it does put him in a great position to draw upon those experiences when the going gets tough on November 28th, as it certainly will for both men.
In a recent roundtable filmed by BT Sport, Joyce’s manager Sam Jones claimed that this fight was a couple too soon for Dubois and that he would fall short due to that lack of a ‘middle fight’. Dubois coldly responded by saying ‘this is that middle fight’ while nodding towards Joyce, and that confidence and ruthlessness was palpable. If he carries that callous attitude into to the ring, combined with his punch power, then his bad intentions may well manifest as reality.
How will they trouble each other?
Dubois may just be seen by some as a heavy hitter but he has displayed some good boxing ability in amongst delivering some highlight reel knockouts. Against Gorman, Dubois floored him with a lovely double jab combination followed by a right hand over the top, and it was evident he was able to carry out a game plan and trust in his own technique and power whilst under the added pressure of the bright lights.
At the same time, he does possess devastating one punch power as he demonstrated against AJ Carter. He has also learnt to take his time and to not load up on his shots when he has his opponent in trouble, and this maturity was seen in his demolition job of Kyotaro Fujimoto. While the calibre of opponent can be questioned, all the tools of a future world champion are there to be seen in Dubois.
While Joyce is unlikely to knock his opponent out with one punch power like Dubois, he has a different approach which has been equally effective. Joyce has made a career of throwing a large volume of punches per round; and while they may not carry the power to knock someone out individually, it is the attritional effect they have on his opponent which breaks them down. He did this to perfection against Alexander Ustinov, a man who has fought in a world title fight, albeit for a vacant belt.
In addition to this, Joyce’s stamina and ability to continue throwing large volumes of punches over the course of a 12 round fight is in his locker. Joyce has a proven engine and work rate to give someone a real hard night's work. He will also need to rely on his durability for this fight, something it is quite clear that he does have, particularly in his chin, but chinks in his amour were exposed by Bryant Jennings, who stunned and evidently hurt him with a body shot. Maybe that highlighted vulnerability will give Dubois some impetus to target the Juggernaut’s body.
How will it play out?
I think Joyce will aim to upset Dubois and take the fight to him up close, matching him for strength and power in the clinch which would limit Dubois’ power and drain his energy. I feel like Joyce could have real success with this approach, making it a messy fight and overwhelming Dubois with a busy punch output while breaking him down.
Dubois will be looking to land something hard and telling early in the fight to win Joyce’s respect and make him think twice about walking him down and taking the fight to him. If he can land something early and find range behind his jab, it will be a far more comfortable night for him, and he will be afforded the time to find his power shots and that knockout punch.
Alan Drewett – Dubois KO
I think Dubois is just too quick and too strong for Joyce. I expect it to go early and I expect a devastating KO by Dubois within 3 three rounds. I just think Joyce is too stiff with his upper body and that’s not the way you beat Dubois.
Doey Thomas - Dubois
For me, I can't see past Dubois in this one. Take nothing away from Joe Joyce, he's done absolutely everything asked of him as a professional and obviously has a strong amateur pedigree, but I can't help but envisage the younger, faster, stronger heavyweight winning this battle.
Paul Kelly – Joyce TKO
I think it’s a great fight. I really do feel like Joyce has the beating of Dubois. I feel that Dubois is a massive threat early, and if he lands he could well get Joyce out of there quickly. However, I think Joyce will hang in there, break Dubois down and take control of the fight. I think Joyce wins via late stoppage.
Elliott Grigg – Dubois KO
I’m going with DDD, by KO. I like Joyce, as a man, and I think he gets a tough rap for essentially outsourcing all his speaking responsibilities to the impressionable mouthpiece of Sam Jones; but there is nothing in his boxing ability that I can see troubling DDD, other than his chin. Watching Joyce-Ustinov was like watching two boxers fight either underwater or in conditions of minimal gravity.
DDD will simply be too quick for him, will catch him repeatedly and could really hurt him. DDD, by knockout, in rounds 1-6.
Date: 28th November 2020
Venue: Church Houce, Westminster
Where to Watch: BT Sport 1