Daniel Dubois: Me Against Joe Joyce? I’m Definitely Up For It!

DANIEL DUBOIS INSISTS he is more than up for fulfilling his side of the bargain when it comes to challenging for the vacant British heavyweight title.

The British Boxing Board of Control put forward Dubois and Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce to battle for the Lonsdale belt vacated by Hughie Fury and it is a fight that genuinely appeals to the 21-year-old 10-0 man, who has already won the Southern Area and English titles, as well as the WBC World Youth and WBO European belts.

First, however, he has got a job to do against the 14-1 Ghanaian Richard Lartey at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27. If he passes this test with flying colours, Joyce is the type of opponent that fits the bill for Dubois.

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“Me against Joe, if that fight can be made, I am definitely up for it,” said the executor of nine professional KOs to date. “Moving on, these are the sort of fighters I want to face and win against to progress through the rankings and get to where I want to be – preparing for world titles.

“There is no way around these fighters, I have to face him and I have to beat him,” added Dubois, who strongly suspects Joyce will have no issue in signing up for the fight.

“I am sure he would, we’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.”

Dubois and Joyce were both members of the Team GB squad up in Sheffield and are, therefore, no strangers to each other’s strengths and weaknesses in the pair’s pre-pro days.

“We did a lot of rounds, maybe 40-60, when I mixed it with all the guys up there,” confirmed Dubois. “Sparring is sparring, but we tested each other and helped each other while we were on the squad.

“It was a good experience. He tries to overpower and outwork you, so he is busy non-stop and a challenge for anyone who faces him.”

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Including Dubois himself?

“No, not at all. I will work 100 per cent, even harder than I am now, to beat these guys. The better the guys I am facing, the better I will be.”

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WHEN BT SPORT innovatively elected to wire up Nathan Gorman while he was on a scouting mission to assess the performance of his heavyweight rival Daniel Dubois at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this month, it probably wasn’t part of the strategy to have him sitting ringside right alongside the brother and sister of the young Londoner.

There was Gorman commentating on the pros and cons of Dubois’ destruction of his previous opponent Razvan Cojanu, while siblings Caroline and Prince were listening in intently, with the odd frosty stare thrown in for good measure.

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Gorman was measured and typically articulate in his summing up of Dubois’s second round KO show, which is probably just as well given the company he was keeping in the adjacent seats.

The now 10-0 Dubois was unaware that he was being marked by a contemporary at the time and hasn’t, as of yet, been tempted to tune in to discover if he was favourably assessed or not.

“They told me about it afterwards!” said the 21-year-old with a chuckle. “It is what it is and we are all in together.

“I haven’t seen it myself but my dad told me about it. I have no need to see it, I know what I’ve got to do. I am just enjoying my training, enjoying my boxing and enjoying winning so I will just carry on doing that.”

The more reserved Dubois had no intention of returning the compliment and travelling up to Leicester to watch Gorman outpoint Kevin Johnson last Saturday.

“I don’t see the need to and will probably just watch his fights online or something. Right now I am focused on my date in April.”

Dubois makes a quick return to the ring at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27 when he takes on a dangerous mission against the 14-1 Ghanaian Richard Lartey.

Lartey has been the executor of 11 KOs across his professional career and, while Dubois accepts there are always perils when coming across a relatively unknown quantity, he backs his own ability to succeed in previously unchartered territory.

“There is always that possibility, but I know that my boxing skills and boxing brain is probably already superior,” he reasoned. “He will be a tough guy and anybody is capable of winning because until you knock them out they are always dangerous.

“I am approaching this fight the same as the others, but I am going to be a bit better this time than my last.

“This is what it is all about, I know what I have got to go in there and do on the night. It is all good for boxing, the interest and mystique around this guy and what is going to happen on the night is there, but I know what I’ve got to do.”

Daniel Dubois v Richard Lartey tops the bill at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27 on a card that also includes the Commonwealth super middleweight title fight between Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford, as well as the Southern Area super middleweight title clash between Zak Chelli and Jimmy Smith. WBO European super flyweight champion Sunny Edwards and WBO European super featherweight champion Archie Sharp also feature.

Rangy Super Welterweight talent Hamzah Sheeraz will be back out after his impressive win over Rod Douglas Jnr. Hard hitting middleweight and Peacock gym product Denzel Bentley (9-0) and Belfast amateur middleweight star Caoimhin Agyarko will also return to action. There are Queensberry debuts for unbeaten welterweight Chris Kongo (10-0) and Sheffield middleweight Shakiel Thompson (2-0) – with Thompson being tipped by sparring partner Billy Joe Saunders as a star for the future. Ilford Super Middleweight Umar Sadiq (4-1) also returns as he looks to rebuild after his first career loss. Tunde Ajayi trained lightweight Bilal Ali (1-0) will have his second professional fight after making a successful start to his pro career, with Hoddesdon super lightweight Alfie Price set for his fifth.

Tickets will be priced as £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150 and are now ON SALE to purchase via Eventim, Ticketmaster, the SSE Arena website and AXS.com.

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