If you’re disappointed that the Mike Tyson V Roy Jones Jr fight has been designated an “exhibition” where the legendary warriors have to avoid knockouts and nobody will be declared the winner, then let me introduce you to a little scrap that’s bound to be decided by big blows and a KO.
SATURDAY 9PM: DANIEL DUBOIS V JOE JOYCE
Dubois v Joyce, BT Sport 1
You won’t get the pre-fight hype from these two fellas as they prefer to let their fists do the talking, so let me preview this weekend’s mouthwatering match-up from London’s historic Westminster.
The unbeaten British big men have both been pro a little over three years and the winner takes home the European, Commonwealth and British belts. Dubois is 6’5’’ with 15 wins, 14 early, and Joyce is 6’6’ with 11 wins, 10 inside the distance – these are absolute units with the skills to match, and it’s not going the full 12 rounds.
The showdown is on regular BT Sport rather than pay-per-view, so I might allow myself the bankroll to make the short price for the fight not to go the distance worth it, but I reckon we can put a bigger dent in Paddy with bets elsewhere.
Joyce may have had under a dozen paid contests but he’s already beaten one former champ and one world title challenger, and his seasoning from the amateurs includes an Olympic silver medal and 16 fights in the top-level semi-pro World Series of Boxing. However, that experience comes with age, and the Putney man turned 35 in September.
Dubois, 23, is the complete package for a prospect: skills, mindset and physique. We saw Teofimo Lopez beat the pound-for-pound best Vasyl Lomachenko a month ago with almost exactly the same record and age. Honestly, Greenwich’s ‘DDD’ would probably be the favourite against anybody outside the top five but he hasn’t been-there-and-done-it yet.
Dubois is priced up very short to win and at the time of writing odds-on to win by KO.
The criticisms of ‘Juggernaut’ Joe are his slow hands and lack of head movement, and if someone with the size and skill of Dubois is repeatedly pinging punches off your loaf you’re going to get flattened before long.
The “common wisdom” is that Dubois wins early or Joyce wins late but I’m not sure I entirely agree. We haven’t seen Dan score a KO late in a fight but that’s because he’s stopped everyone in less than five rounds except crafty old Kevin Johnson who just covered up and survived for 30 minutes. You wouldn’t call big Joe crafty, and I have never seen him do anything other than plough forward.
There is value in the price for Joyce to win by KO but he has to drag Dubois into a war. We saw ‘Dynamite’ go blow-for-blow against Richard Lartey, and doing the same on Saturday makes this scrap a 50:50. If you scan #WhatOddsPaddy it’s worth considering the odds on both fighters to be knocked down in rounds 1-6.
Both men won easily in low-key fights over the summer and both look in peak condition in their Instagram montages, so I can’t see ring rust, distractions or lockdown timber being a factor this weekend.
With that in my mind, and with Joyce on Dubois’ mind for at least four months, I have to back the favourite. Joe is granite-chinned and I think Daniel will respect his power in the early sessions, but the younger man will force the stoppage in the second half of the contest.
Bet of the bout: Dubois in rounds 7-12
- Rangy super welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz is just 21 but there’s already plenty of people on the hype train. The classy Londoner steps up against veteran Argentine Guido Nicolas Pitto this weekend (9pm), and, although I think Sheeraz wins comfortably, I think Pitto can take him the distance. Sheeraz on points.
- Jack Catterall is waiting for world title fight and rather than hang about he’s taken a tick-over bout against super lightweight Abderrazak Houya (8pm). The Tunisian is an Olympian and has some moves, so back Catterall to take ‘W’ via a decision.
- In the cruiserweight class, Jack Massey takes on Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (7pm). Ali’s record is padded to the max but he’s not terrible – that being said, still look for Massey to win in rounds 5-6.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change