Joe Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) looked statue-esque in weighing in at a slim 258.9 pounds on Friday or his 12-round fight for the vacant EBU heavyweight belt against the heavily hyped but badly inexperienced Daniel Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) for their fight on Saturday night on BT Sport from the Church House, in Westminster, UK.
The Dubois-Joyce undercard is filled with no names and mismatches, pretty much. Easily the best fighter on the undercard is light welterweight contender Jack Catterall, who will be fighting someone named Abderrazak Houya. Not a great fight.
Dubois, 23, weighed in at 244lbs, which is the same he scaled in at for his last fight against little known Ricardo Snijders last summer on August 29th. Daniel knocked Snijders, but the victory told us nothing because Dubois’ opponent was too poor to prove anything.
Dubois is supposed to be the next heavyweight star and the guy that will take over in a few years when Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are over-the-hill and ready for retirement. That may not happen, though, if Joyce has anything to say about it.
Although Joyce is 35, he fights like a guy ten years younger, and he’s got the engine, size, and the George Foreman-like power to expose Dubois and ruin his promoter’s pipe dream about him being the next big thing.
Joyce looks in great shape right now, and he could prove to be too much for Dubois to handle on Saturday night. The good thing is that the 6’5′ Dubois is young enough to come again and rebuild his career after a loss to Joyce. In other words, it won’t be the end of the world for the hulking 244-lb fighter.
Dubois’ promoter should have started matching him up against world-class opposition a long time ago rather than waiting until now to have him step up for the first time.
When you have a promoter that babies a fighter the way that Dubois has been, bad things happen when they finally get in there with someone with a pulse.
“Joe Joyce is a tank, he just keeps coming forward,” said Carl Froch. “I seen him sparring AJ, and he didn’t enjoy sparring Joyce because he just keeps coming forward. He just works away, plods away, he looks a little bit awkward, and he looks a little bit slow, but he gets the job done.
“Dubois can punch, and that’s probably going to be his savior in this fight. You’ve got to say that Dubois is the favorite, but this is a tough fight.
“They both think they’re going to win. Joe Joyce, I don’t think he’s got a problem. Dubois, I had a chat with him, and he believes in himself. He’s looking at Joe Joyce thinking, ‘You’re basic, and you’re easy to hit. I can get this job done.’ Fair play to him,” said Froch.
Supposedly, Joyce dropped Joshua and had him badly hurt during their sparring. In an old interview, Joyce seemed proud of what he’d done when he was questioned about having hurt AJ.