By Charles Brun: Daniel Dubois defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight straps against Joe Joyce later this year on October 24. This is a date that hopefully will stick without it needing to be postponed repeatedly for years to come.
Still being called the ‘Seek And Destroy’ battle, the situation is still murky whether the crowds will be allowed to attend the Joyce-Dubois fight in October. The U.K. government will need to make the call on the crowd situation, and hopefully, they do it soon.
Promoter Frank Warren could then postpone the Joyce vs. Dubois fight for the second time or possibly bite the bullet and let it take place behind closed doors.
Is Dubois making a mistake fighting Joyce?
Is it too early for Dubois to be taking on a guy as old and as tough as the ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce? I didn’t like the way Dubois gassed out against 40-year-old journeyman Kevin Johnson in 2018.
If Dubois loses to Joyce, it’ll be quite a setback for him, and who knows if he’ll ever bounce back. It would be sad if Dubois turns out to be another Jeff ‘Left Hook’ Lacy in being put into a high-level fight too early in his career. Lacy was never the same fighter after his loss to Joe Calzaghe. Could we see the same with Dubois after he faces Joyce?
Yeah, Dubois won a one-sided 10 round decision, but he looked exhausted after the fifth round. All those muscles and that massive frame makes it difficult for Dubois to fight prolonged matches.
Dubois’ promoter Warren has continued to feed him soft opposition since the Johnson match. In Dubois’ last five fights, he’s beaten these lower-level opponents:
- Razvan Cojanu
- Richard Lartey
- Nathan Gorman
- Ebenezer Tetteh
- Kyotaro Fujimoto
The opposition has been so woeful that it’s impossible to tell if Dubois is improving or not. All we can base his progress on is how he looked against journeyman Kevin Johnson because he was by far the best of the lot.
Although the fighters mentioned above are considerably younger than Johnson, they’re not as talented. They’re just young guys with a mediocre ability that most top 15 heavyweights would bowl over with ease.
Dubois will be ready for Joyce on October 24
“I’ll be ready for October 24, so I hope Joe is coming prepared,” said ‘Dynamite’ Dubois in a news release.
Hopefully, Dubois keeps his head on straight and doesn’t build up all his hopes on the Joyce fight taking place on October 24. It would be better for Dubois to approach the Joyce fight with a certain amount of doubt and skepticism about whether it’ll take place on that rescheduled date.
What we don’t want is to have Dubois get discouraged if the Joyce match is postponed yet again.
Dubois-Joyce is happening at the O2 Arena in London, England. Promoter Frank Warren is counting on the U.K. government, letting the contest take place on that date.
There’s no word on whether the fight will be postponed if crowds aren’t allowed to attend live events. Admittedly, that would make it difficult to stage a clash of the magnitude of Joyce and Dubois behind closed doors without the benefit of the lucrative gate revenue.
If Joyce and Dubois were massive stars, then they could be moved to a Middle East country potentially. That’s not the situation though, Joyce and Dubois are somewhat famous in the U.K. only, but not worldwide.
It would be interesting if the two decided to fight only in the U.S. because they might do a better job of attracting a large fan base than in the U.K. Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Dillian Whyte attract a lot of attention in England, and that leaves little room for guys like Dubois and Joyce to build their own fan bases.
The U.S. is without a big heavyweight attraction now that Deontay Wilder has been beaten, and someone like Dubois could slip into the void to potentially get adopted by the Americans as one of their own.
Should ‘Dynamite’ Daniel take his fights to the U.S.?
Fury seems to be trying to do that by fighting exclusively in the States now, and he’s build up a big following in a short period. Can Dubois do the same?
Dubois is kind of slow and robotic with his fighting style, and it’s unclear if he’ll ever become a star in the U.K. If Dubois takes his operations to the United States, it’s possible he and Fury could become stars there.
That won’t be easy with his fight against Joyce still not happening. At some point, Dubois may need to cut his losses and move on if it’s not possible to stage his fight with Joyce in 2020 with a crowd.
“Everyone wants to see it. Lockdown has meant a delay, but we all want the fight to take place in October and we are hopeful that the government will give us the all-clear,” said Warren. “What a position the winner will be in. They will be nailed on for a world title shot in 2021.”
If the pandemic prevents crowds for sporting events trough 2020 into all of 2021, Warren will need to decide it’s worth it to stick it out with the Joyce vs. Dubois fight. It might be better for Warren to wash his hands of the battle, and take Dubois behind closed doors against domestic level opposition.
It’s not the ideal situation for the 22-year-old Dubois to continue to face domestic-level fodder, but what are you doing to do? With the virus still spreading like wildfire in the U.K. and worldwide, it’s not looking good right now that crowds will be allowed back into live shows in 2020.
Dubois-Joyce was previously scheduled for July 11
Dubois (14-0, 13 K.O.s) and the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joyce (10-0, 9 K.O.s) were supposed to fight on July 11, but the match was erased for that date because of the pandemic.
The 6’6″, 250+ pound ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce will be turning 35-year-old on September 19, and he’s got to get busy with his career if he wants to make anything out of it. Joyce spent way too much time in the amateur ranks and then ended up getting arguably robbed in the Olympic final against France’s Tony Yoka in 2016.
With only a Silver medal to show for his efforts, Joyce turned pro in 2017, and he’s quickly moved up the ranks with ten victories. Up until last July, Joyce’s career was moving along nicely, but it’s slowed down to a complete crawl since his win over Bryant Jennings. Joyce is now losing a year of his career, thanks to the pandemic.
By the time Joyce faces the 6’5″ Dubois on October 24, he’ll have been out of the ring for 15 months. I can’t say it’s the wisest move on Joyce’s part to take on Dubois after that long of a layoff, but he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Joe Joyce can’t afford to waste time
Joyce is too old to create more of a delay in his clash against Dubois, so he’s got to plunge ahead and take the fight. That’ll be the biggest payday of Joyce’s three-year pro career, and he could put himself in position for a title shot with a win over the young Dubois.
Ranked #5 WBO, #7 WBC, it’s anyone’s guess why Dubois insists on holding onto the British and Commonwealth domestic straps. Dubois doesn’t need those lower-level titles, and he should think about tossing them in the bin. Those belts are for guys that either not ranked in the top tier or lack the talent to compete at the world level. It’s very odd that Dubois is holding onto them.
I can’t imagine someone like Anthony Joshua holding onto domestic level titles while fighting at the upper level. The same goes for Tyson Fury. Those guys would have held onto the British and Commonwealth titles long enough for them to get a top 15 ranking, and then tossed them in the bin for the prospects to dive after.