This Saturday afternoon in the states Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce engage in a battle of the unbeaten prospect on ESPN+. The trinkets tied to this fight shouldn’t be mentioned because the matchup sells itself. The winner will move on and further their heavyweight career becoming a true contender. There is a chance the outcome of Saturday’s bout is close enough so both will be seen as a legit heavy so we shouldn’t pigeon hole the loser. While we’re on this subject, a draw could occur or we may leave this fight capping both fighters’ ceilings to compete on the upper echelon. The blending of the current term ‘smoke’ and the old nickname for London ’The Big Smoke’ was a must for those wondering on this side of the pond what that means.
The word prospect is a tricky one in the sport of boxing and can really depend on the country you are either born or raised in. For instance, in Mexico boxers routinely turn pro before the age of 18. So a crucial part of their pro career is an extension of an amateur career and early losses in say 10 or 20 fights won’t have the same meaning as they would in other places. In America, more and more boxers are turning pro earlier because they don’t have the same infrastructure as they do say in Europe or Russia. Fighters from the Eastern Hemisphere tend to enter the paid ranks as a more mature person well into their 20’s. Not a perfect fit but this prospect point is brought up for an obvious reason based off Joe Joyce’s age of 35.
So the youth versus experience does still come in to play but not nearly as much as it normally would if one considers Joyce has just 11 bouts as a professional. His amateur pedigree is impressive and it makes sense he’s 35 as of September due to him starting boxing at 22. Long story short, Joyce has faced better fighters at both levels and it will help him greatly on Saturday. Dubois had around 70 fights in the unpaid ranks, he didn’t reach the heights that Joyce did but he did start much early at the age of 9. Dubois has 15 wins and 14 knockouts while facing a decent stretch of mostly prospects over the last two years. Ironically, they both have 43 rounds under their belt giving the advantage to Joyce having faced more experienced veteran foes.
Joyce has said of late that he will use a different game plan against Dubois rather than a straight forward bomb’s away approach. In his fight with Bryant Jennings we did get to see a different side to his game which will be needed in his biggest test to date. Joyce did flash improved footwork instead of squaring up as much as he had in past outings. His workrate is very good for a heavyweight and he did a good job mixing up the speed on his punches rather than putting all of his might into every single punch. Circling and being lighter on his feet is something that can only work to his benefit. The jab will be important especially when he aims it to the body while moving his head off to the side. Speaking of moving his head or upper body in general neither guy has done that consistently thus far and it could make all the difference.
Dubois will be better served fighting at a measured pace whether Joyce is on the move or banging on the inside. In his fight with Nathan Gorman we saw the pros and cons to Dubois in clear terms. His jab was relatively quick when he threw it with purpose. He has a knack of bringing that right hand behind it making for an effective two-punch combo. Daniel has power in both hands and when he lands flush it does plenty of damage. The problems for Dubois is he pushes his punches at times which led to getting hit clean in exchanges or as he was on the way in. Upper cuts off the ropes and in the middle of the ring find a home way too much. Dubious, like Joyce will have to move his head off the center.
Both men reach with their shots and leave giant holes on defense which doesn’t bode well when two giants are facing off. Well, not from a fans perspective of course we want to see power punches land. This boxing podcaster thinks Joyce’s punch output and movement will give him an early lead. Dubois will inch closer and closer and begin to land the harder shots and force more back and forth. Joyce’s busy work will turn into to arm punches and super wide shots that come out slow and will have him out of position.
One can only assume Dubois will put in work to the body of Joyce the way Jennings had success to the point that it may have hurt Joe. Let’s hope as this fight wears on, if that’s the case, the action doesn’t fall apart and we end up with two gigantic heavies holding excessively. There’s nothing wrong with a fun slobber-knocker but those tend not to last deep in the rounds. If this goes into the late rounds we could see some major fatigue.
My Official Prediction is Daniel Dubois by Unanimous Decision or Late Stoppage.
Side Note: Keep in mind the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. PPV is an exhibition regardless of what the promoters and fighters are saying of late. Also, here’s wishing that the Jacobs vs. Rosado fight on DAZN is a two-way fight and as enjoyable as the trash talk.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio