Lennox Lewis previews Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce
By Matt Lieberman: Lennox Lewis isn’t counting out Joe Joyce in his clash with the heavy favorite Daniel Dubois next Saturday on November 28 on BT Sport. The former unified heavyweight champion Lewis rates Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) because of his Olympic experience, and he believes he’s been well-trained in the past.
Dubois and Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) will be fighting for the vacant EBU heavyweight title at the Church House in Westminster. The Dubois-Joyce fight winner will be knocking on the door for a world title shot against Anthony Joshua.
Lewis expects the 23-year-old Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) to come out looking to score a knockout, considering that he’s always fought that way since turning pro in 2017.
For Dubois to attempt to change his game, it would be a mistake and probably wouldn’t work for him anyway. Joyce, 35, will be applying constant pressure, forcing Dubois to brawl whether he wants to or not.
It’s difficult to imagine the Dubois-Joyce fight winner challenging for a world title in 2022 because they lack the big-fight experience needed to compete.
Unless the winner of the Dubois vs. Joyce fight keeps moving forward in 2021 and taking on top-level fighters, they’re going to be taking a massive step up when they challenge for the title against the winner of the two Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fights.
Joyce shouldn’t be a big underdog
“I wouldn’t put him too much as an underdog because he’s been to the Olympics and has got a lot of Olympic experience,” said Lewis. “Before he went to the Olympics, I’m sure he had training camp experience and I’m sure he was up in Sheffield.
“He was prepared well, so he knows how to prepare well for fights. It is very vital to have a great amateur background behind you, and if you go to the Olympics, it’s even better.
“Most guys that go to the Olympics end up being world-class fighters and champions. Joe Joyce has that experience, so he’s going to bring that experience into the fight with him.
“Joe Joyce is more of a thinker-boxer. He waits for the right opportunity, and he moves. I like the way he moves. When he was in the Olympics, I thought he wasn’t moving his head.
“His head was a big straight, but now obviously he’s gotten a lot better and is moving his head a bit. He’s feinting a lot,” said Lewis about Joyce.
The oddsmakers are obviously looking at the lack of hand speed that Joyce has, and they feel that the Dubois is faster and a bigger puncher. When you focus on those aspects of Dubois’ game, it’s hard not to view him as the favorite.
Dubois could be hiding a fragile mandible that Joyce could expose in this fight. We’ve seen Dubois stunned in the past by Richard Lartey, and who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t knocked him out in the fourth.
Would Lartey have eventually gotten to Dubois at some point to stop him? It’s possible.
Lewis expecting Dubois to slug
“As far as Dubois, he’s search and destroy. He’s trying to take you out, and he doesn’t have time to waste,” said Lewis.
“Dubois doesn’t want to slow down,” Lewis said. “At first you’re going to see a tentative fight because they have to get used to each other.
“Then you’re going to be on the edge of your seat wondering who’s going to land the first big shot. Obviously, everyone is looking for Daniel Dubois to land a big shot, but they may be surprised; he may come out with a hook or an uppercut. You never know what comes in a fight,” said Lewis.
Advantages for Joyce:
Dubois’ basic DNA is that of a slugger, and if he tries to change that, he’ll struggle and lose. Joyce may pull off the upset next Saturday, seeing that he does well against sluggers, and he always has done.
Joyce had problems in the Olympics when he went up against Tony Yoka and dealt with his boxing ability. Fortunately for Joyce, Dubois isn’t as good of a boxer as Yoka. So if Dubois changes his game for this fight, he’ll have problems keeping Joyce off.
What we don’t know about Dubois is how well he’ll perform under pressure and the fast pace that Joyce will be setting. Though Joyce’s hand speed is rather slow, he makes up for it with the constant pressure he puts his opponents under.
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