Joe Joyce has his own next fight to take care of, this Saturday, against “Big Bang” Zhilei Zhang – but Joyce has made his prediction on another fight, the one we are expecting to see next from WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk. It seems Usyk will attend to his WBA mandatory requirements, and that’s a fight with Daniel Dubois.
Dubois as we know is a big puncher, but Joyce doesn’t give the man he stopped in 2020 much of a chance against the hugely skilled Ukrainian southpaw he himself lost to in an amateur fight some years back. Speaking with Talk Sport, “The Juggernaut” said he doesn’t think Dubois will be able to hit Usyk when they fight.
“I think Usyk is going to dance round him, Dubois won’t be able to hit him, he certainly couldn’t hit me when we fought, so he’s not going to be able to hit Usyk,” Joyce said. “Dubois hits hard but you can’t hit someone who is going to be moving and he’s going to dance rings around him, peppering him with shots. There’s a small chance Dubois hits him with a big shot, but I can’t see it.”
You know what – neither can I. Dubois is not ready for Usyk, and deep down his team must know it. Okay, it is of course hard to turn down a shot at three world heavyweight titles, and as members of Dubois’ team have said, you never know when another chance at such a level will come around. But Usyk looks to have way too much skill, speed, movement, experience, accuracy and sheer know-how for Dubois. In fact, this is a fight that could see Dubois, 19-1(18) take a one-sided hammering the kind of which his confidence never fully recovers from.
Yes, Dubois can bang, but it’s hard to disagree with Joyce when he says there isn’t much chance of Dubois landing on Usyk. Maybe Dubois can prove this line of thinking wrong on the night, who knows? It will be interesting to see what the betting odds are on this fight when it is officially announced. Usyk, 20-0(13) might be something like a seven-to-one, or eight-to-one favourite to win.
Usyk-Dubois is of course not the big heavyweight fight we all wanted. Will that Usyk-Tyson Fury fight ever happen? Promoter Frank Warren says we should “never say never.” But plenty of fans have long since grown weary of getting their hopes up.