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Joe Joyce gunning for a knockout of Daniel Dubois

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

By Matt Lieberman: Joe Joyce is ready to put himself in a position to challenge for a world title on Saturday night by knocking out unbeaten Daniel Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) to take his position at #2 ranking with the WBO.

Dubois is the favorite with the oddsmakers, but that doesn’t mean anything. He’s never fought anyone with Joyce’s pedigree, size, power, or engine. The youngster is stepping into the unknown against the 6’6″, 258-lb Joyce, and he may not be ready.

Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) and Dubois, 23, fight for the vacant EBU heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Church House in Westminster, England.

The EBU trinket is meaningless compared to the #2 ranking with the World Boxing Organization that the winner of the Joyce-Dubois fight will hold.

It’s believed that Anthony Joshua will soon vacate his WBO title to avoid having to defend it against his mandatory Oleksandr Usyk. Once Joshua gives up his WBO title, the Dubois vs. Joyce fight winner will fight Usyk for the belt.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

Joyce has spotted flaws in Dubois’ game

“It’s not the best scenario in the world,” said Joyce about fighting behind closed doors against Dubois.

“The way it was going in April with a sold-out O2 crowd, pay-per-view, but now it’s behind closed doors without pay-per-view. But a lot of people will be up to watch it, and it’s also progressing my career.

Once I beat Dubois, I can get a shot at the title. Definitely, the clock is ticking, I’m 35, but I feel like a pretty young 35, considering that I started boxing at 22.

“I haven’t been too long in the sport. I’m pretty fresh, and I’m ready to challenge for a world title and get in these big fights.

“I was watching the Lartey fight, and he troubled him [Dubois] there. There are some bits here and there where I feel like I can get some success. I’m just looking forward to the fight,” said Joyce.

The flaws in Dubois’ game are there to be seen, as he’s got stamina issues, and he’s very, very robotic. Although Dubois has excellent power and a good jab, he’s too muscular and rigid. You can tell from watching Dubois fight; he’s going to gas if he’s forced to fight at a fast pace.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

Joe looking forward to beating Dubois

“It’ll be such an achievement when I beat him and silence all the critics, and I’ll be happy for my newfound fans that have seen the light,” Joyce said, laughing. “There will be plenty of eyes on this fight because it’s not pay-per-view.

“I imagine so because I could have one interim fight between then,” said Joyce when asked if he thinks he’ll get a world title shot right away after beating Dubois.

“But hopefully, it’ll be with a crowd for the world title and not behind closed doors. Yeah, I don’t plan on taking it to the 12th round,” said Joyce when asked if he’s going to knockout Dubois. “If I see an opportunity, I will capitalize on it,” said Joyce.

It will be a massive upset if Joyce can defeat the heavy favorite Dubois on Saturday night. The promoter for Dubois, Frank Warren, will likely be very upset if he comes up the loser in this contest, especially if he’s knocked out.

A decision for Dubois is one thing, but losing by a knockout to Joyce would be catastrophic. If Dubois loses by a decision, he and his promoter can muddy the water by saying they were robbed.

There would be enough impressionable boxing fans to believe that, and it would help cushion the loss for Dubois. But if Joyce knocks him out, no excuses will work properly.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

Dubois: Joyce is an obstacle in my way

“I’m ready to go to war and knock Joe Joyce out,” said Dubois. “This is the fight that will test if I’m ready or not [to fight Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua].

“This is the test that will prepare me for a world title fight. It could come down to a straight forward battle because he’s a straight forward fighter like myself.

“Whatever scenario comes, I feel I’m going to win and come away with the victory.

“Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great fight either way. First, I’ve got to beat Joe, but maybe there is a destiny or a higher calling.

“If my career turns out like one of them, I’d be happy, my legacy,” Dubois said about fighters like Muhammad Ali.

“Joe [Joyce] is an obstacle in my way, and I need to get through him and get him out of the way,” said Dubois.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce is a big obstacle that could prove to be a massive thorn on Saturday. Dubois shouldn’t listen to the backslappers that are telling him he’s going to beat Joyce easily.

There’s a perfect chance that Dubois loses this fight if he fades from the fast pace that Joyce will be setting from the outset.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

Dubois confident of beating Joshua and Fury

“That would blow me away, it could happen, it could be a possibility,” said Dubois about him and Tyson Fury potentially fighting shortly.

“It’s up to make it happen and make it come to fruition and make that vision and words come to reality. It’s hard to maintain in this sport and then getting there.

“But we just want to get there first, and that comes with the territory. You’re hunted, and the people are gunning for you.

“That’s where I’m trying to go, climbing the mountain.

“I think he’s been a good role model, a good champion, and he’s beaten most of everyone they’ve put in front of him, and he’s at the top of the mountain now,” Dubois said of Anthony Joshua.

“He’s definitely one of the best, and his record proves it. His comeback, he beat Ruiz, and, yeah, he’s definitely up there. They’re both good fighters.

Tyson Fury brings a different element, a different mindset, and craziness, and everything. It works in his favor. He’s come through everyone they’ve put in front of him, and he’s undefeated.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m definitely confident,” Dubois said when asked if he believes he can beat Joshua and Fury right now.

“Give me the right camp and the right training, and everything goes well, I’ll be going into that fight looking to win and come away with a devastating victory,” said Dubois.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

It’s still too early for Dubois to be thinking of beating Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua since those guys have more ways to beat him. Fury would likely wear Dubois down with his boxing and take him out once he fades.

Dubois doesn’t mind fighting without fans

“Yeah, it was different,” Dubois said about fighting his last match behind closed doors without fans.

“People were all quiet, and only my dad was there making noise. That was strange.

The fact that this fight [against Joe Joyce] is behind closed doors is no problem. I’m going to go out there still and do what I have to do to win.

“It still a fight. It might turn out even better that there are not too many distractions and all that stuff.

You can go into the venues, and you have to hideaway. It’s straight business. Everyone knows why they’re there, so it should be very official.

“You haven’t seen the best of me yet, and this fight could be the one that tests everything I’ve got, and I’ll pull out different stuff that I’ve shown before and different moves I can do,” said Dubois.

Daniel Dubois boxing photo

Fighting without fans won’t be an issue for Dubois, considering that he’s not the type that fights with the adrenalin he gets from fans. If anyone is going to be impacted by a lack of crowd, it will be Joyce. He fights well when cheered by the crowd.

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