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Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce not on PPV on November 28

Image: Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce not on PPV on November 28

By Matt Lieberman: In a big surprise, heavyweight contenders Daniel Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) and Joe Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) won’t be fighting on pay-per-view next month when they battle it out on November 28th on BT Sport. Promoter Frank Warren has decided to make the fight on regular non-pay-per-view on BT Sport on the night.

The basic problem is the unknown when crowds will be allowed back into boxing events. With a second phase of the pandemic expected to hit in the winter months and last through the New Year, Joyce and Dubois would have lost a lot of time by waiting.

Joyce has more experience than Dubois, and his chin has been tested in the amateur ranks and in sparring with top-level heavyweights. With today’s news of Dubois being handled by Filip Hrgovic in sparring, that’s not a good a sign with him going into a hard bout against Joyce.

Dubois and Joyce can’t afford to wait

Joyce, 35, is no spring chicken, and he can’t afford to sit inactive for a long period of time, waiting and hoping for the all-clear from the UK government to finally allow crowds back.

The Joyce vs. Dubois fight had been pushed back several times with the brief that crowds would be allowed back in but that hasn’t happened.

In the meantime,  Oleksandr Usyk faces Dereck Chisora on October 31st, Dillian Whyte battles Alexander Povetkin on November 21st, and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is defending against Kubrat Pulev on December 12th.

Image: Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce not on PPV on November 28

Those are all pay-per-view fights, but those fighters have been professionals longer than Joyce and Dubois.

The previous months for the Dubois vs. Joyce contest

  • April
  • July
  • October

“This is about keeping boxing alive and relevant at a tough time and doing something for the fans and we have moved heaven and earth to put this on as a BT Sport subscription Fight Night instead,” said Warren.

Warren says everyone is unhappy

“Having postponed it a couple of times, we were going on the 24th of October, and we were setting up at the O2 for just under 5,000 people,” said Frank Warren to BT Sport Boxing on the Dubois vs. Joyce fight.

“So that’s what we were going to do. Everything got changed, and we are where we are now. Some more thinking and some more conversations, but we got it over the line. Not to everyone’s satisfaction.

“All of us are unhappy, but you’ve got to deal with the position your in, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve got to keep the big fights on. It’s important. There are a lot of facets to it that make it important.

“You want to keep the sport relevant and deliver some great fights. More importantly, keep the guys busy. They need to fight and they need the challenges.

“Daniel wasn’t too happy with the opponent for his last fight, who he blasted out, as we all know nor were we to be quite honest, but it was what it was. So we made some decisions, and that’s what we’re going with,” said Warren.

You can only imagine how much money the Dubois-Joyce fight would have made had it taken place in front of a live crowd. That fight would make millions with a live gate, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Image: Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce not on PPV on November 28

The UK economy taking a big hit due to the pandemic has further hurt things, and that’s not something that will be reversible quickly.

Even if the pandemic were to end by December, the unemployment numbers will still be high. It’s going to take time to bring things back to where they were before.

Dubois can’t lose his cool

“He’s obviously a real physical presence,” said Ben Davison about Daniel Dubois. “That physicality to dictate right from the get-go, and in the Gorman fight.

“He made his physical presence known from the start, and it was too much for Gorman to handle. He’s got a fantastic jab, and he’s fundamentally sound. And he’s a real threat. He’s extremely mature emotionally.

“He was just focused on his job at hand, which proved to be too tough for Gorman, who is a very good fighter. With the Gorman fight, he was smart about his approach.

“He took his time and he was in charge of when the exchanges happened. But in the Lartey fight, emotions overruled and got in exchanges may be at the wrong times with someone that was willing to fire back.

“That’s something we all know. Joe Joyce will be willing to fire back. Those are the questions that people are interested in seeing being answered.

“How will he cope when someone is firing back? Here, he lost his shape,” said Davison about Dubois losing his cool and getting sloppy against Lartey.

“If that’s Joe Joyce, he could end up in a different scenario. For me, Joe Joyce has got to be the one at some point sets the pace in the fight. Make Dubois fight at a pace that Dubois isn’t comfortable with,” said Davison.

Joyce is very likely going to draw Dubois into a hard scrap, whether he wants to or not, and it’s going to be survival of the fittest on November 28th.

If Dubois and Joyce were more popular, it would make sense to stage it on pay-per-view, and it might do well. That’s not an option right now.

Joyce may need to slow things down

“Joe Joyce is known for his phenomenal engine, but if you try to set a pace too early and getting involved in too many exchanges and you’re getting hit with too many shots go, you will be there to be hit,” said Ben.

“In the [Bryant] Jennings fight, we saw him get hit early on. If that’s Dubois and it’s a chin shot early on, it could be all over because he’s phenomenally heavy-handed.

Image: Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce not on PPV on November 28

“We know Joe is heavy-handed, but he’s got to be smart with how he sets the pace and when he dictates the pace.

“If he comes out looking for exchanges early, it’s a real, real risky one, but I think if he can maintain and be in the fight for the first couple of round and then try and set a pace that Dubois is uncomfortable with, he can answer those questions that people are looking to answer of Dubois.

“How does he deal with it when someone is firing back, and when someone can take what he’s giving and when someone can dictate against him?

“How does he handle it in the second half of a fight when he does not have things his own way.

“These are the questions that people want to see asked. With Joe, he’s known for being a phenomenal athlete, a monster, who sets a ridiculous pace, but can he does that with someone that is heavy-handed in front of him. We know he’s got a great chin.

“How good is his chin? There are so many questions that need to be answered and the intriguing thing is all those questions over both of these fighters, these are the styles to ask these questions. That’s why it’s a mouth-watering clash,” said Davison.

Dubois is looking better right now than Joyce, but we don’t know how Daniel is going to react to being put into a fast-paced fight. Who knows? Dubois may tire out and get stopped by Joyce.

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