Former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson says heavyweight Daniel Dubois showed a weakness in character by quitting on a knee in the 10th round last Saturday night against Joe Joyce in their fight at the Church House in London, England.
The underdog Joyce, who boxing fans were giving any chance of winning, beat Dubois up with his jab alone, broke his left eye socket, which resulted in him calling it quits in round ten.
What looked bad on Dubois’ part in fans’ eyes is how he turned around and took two steps before sinking to a knee to quit after being jabbed to the head in the 10th by Joyce. This wasn’t the typical way that fighters are knocked out.
Dubois didn’t go out on his shield. He quit, and many fans and people in boxing aren’t happy with the way he gave up.
As far as Nelson is concerned, Dubois (15-1, 14 KOs) will be tested in how he comes back from his loss to Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs).
Joyce beat Dubois up
“I think people were too quick to dismiss Joe Joyce’s level of experience as an amateur and his level of opponents he’s boxed as a professional,” said Johnny Nelson. “I said it two days ago, ‘I expect Joe Joyce to win. My worries, he gets hit too much.’
“I thought he beat him [Dubois] up with his jab. He used his attributes,” Nelson said of Joyce. “He’s not the fastest, but he’s strong, and he used his nice stiff jab. He used his courage and his calm and his experience to beat up Dubois with a jab.
“Dubois, with his repertoire, I thought, ‘This kid is not bad.’ It’s too early for him, but this kid’s not bad. I had him down one round at the point of the stoppage.
“I thought he boxed really good, but I just thought it was too much of a gamble at this point, and Joe Joyce exposed that.
“It was probably a big shock to the bull s*** machine. Danny Dubois is a good fighter, but he wasn’t ready for that point yet. He wasn’t ready for that depth yet.
“He’ll come back stronger, but unfortunately with a lot of criticism because of the way the fight finished. He’s got to learn in the sport,” said Nelson.
Johnny is making some assumptions by saying that Dubois, 23, will “come back stronger” from his loss to Joyce.
Kell Brook suffered a similar broken eye socket injury as Dubois, and he sure as heck didn’t come back stronger from the experience.
You can argue that Brook’s eye injuries that he suffered against Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr ruined his once-promising career.
Dubois’ character will be tested by defeat
“This is going to be a good test to see how he deals with negativity because he hasn’t had to deal with any negativity, has he?” said Nelson about Dubois.
“Now he’s going to get 90% of negativity. This will show the maturity, the strength, and the bounce-back ability, which I think he’s got.
“I just think he’s got to learn a harsh lesson quickly at this point in his career. He was in a position to box Oleksandr Usyk.
“A good heavyweight that can box and move will deal with him. You don’t want to fail at the highest level. You want to fail at a level where you can come back.
“If he’d boxed Usyk for the WBO title, what would he have done? We’re going to go to the back of the queue.
“Dubois will come back. He’ll develop in the time he should develop,” Nelson said.
We’ll definitely get a chance to see how Dubois deals with this adversity, but we may not find out for a long time if he’s improved.
It’s logical to assume that Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren will have him face weaker domestic level opposition for the next two to three years to rebuild him.
With the likely poor opposition that Queensbury will feed Dubois, we may not see him in with a live body until 2023 or 2024.
Nelson: Dubois made a mistake he’ll regret
“Dubois made a fundamental mistake that he’ll regret for the rest of his life by taking a knee and letting a count take him out,” Nelson continued.
“You don’t know what’s going through an individual’s head at the time. He was in shock. It was the first time that he was at the receiving end of what he usually dishes out.
“You’ve got to give credit to both fighters. To Joyce for showing his experience, his skill, and his talent that he has.
“I’m also giving credit to Dubois because Dubois showed m a lot more than I actually thought he had. Now it’s going to be a long rebuilding process for him.
“I hope it doesn’t break his heart, and he falls out of love with the sport because of the backlash he’s going to get because he is a good fighter. He can fight. It was just too early for him.
“Dubois, it was an instinctive move where, ‘I’m in deep here, and all of a sudden, the tables are turned, and I just can’t carry on.’ In his head, his mind had checked out,” said Nelson.
It wouldn’t have been a problem for Dubois if his trainer had pulled him out in between rounds or if the referee had taken him over to the ringside doctor to have his injured left eye examined
Dubois’s left eye was completely closed, and the fight would likely have been stopped if the ringside doctor had examined his injury.
Dubois showed a weakness in character
“His mind had clearly checked out because he knew the count was going,” Nelson continued. “‘I’m done, I’m out of here.’ It’s very hard for a man to do that because he knows the backlash he’s going to get.
“For Dubois, it’s not the end of the road. Joe Joyce comes out heads and shoulders above [in experience]. But if you’ve got a machine behind you saying, ‘this kid [Dubois] is this, that and the other,’ of course, you’re going to believe it.
“You build them up. If they fall, they’re going to fall hard.
“He [Dubois] did quit. What else did he do? He took the shot, walked two steps, and took a knee. He looked to say, ‘I’m out.”
“It sounds like a criticism, and it is, but he did do that. There’s no excuse for it. He did quit. He consciously said, ‘I’m out of this.’
“He was coherent enough to understand the process of what he was doing. On that occasion, he showed a weakness in his character that he can fix.
“You’ve got fighters that use common sense and think, ‘Nah, I want to live to fight another day.
“I’ll take the backlash, but I’ll fight another day.’ Danny Dubois showed some guts and intelligence to say, ‘I quit. I’m going to get it, but I quit,'” said Nelson.
A lot of boxing fans do think Dubois showed weakness in quitting. Only Dubois knows what led him to take a knee and stay down in the 10th. It’s too bad he didn’t stick it out until his corner, or the ringside doctor stopped it.