As the two up-and-coming British heavyweights prepare to finally do battle on BT Sport, we take a look at all the big questions being asked before the opening bell rings…
By Virgin TV Edit
Though UK boxing fans have long been clamouring for an historic, all-British heavyweight bout between superstars Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, this weekend’s upcoming contest between London’s Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce poses an equally intriguing prospect when the two trade blows on BT Sport.
That’s partly due to each fighter’s comparative styles, age, pedigree and records in the pro ranks. But also because it’s arguably, for both, the toughest test they will have faced since turning professional and setting their sights on belts instead of medals.
And there are plenty of questions being asked of each fighter ahead of Saturday’s bout…
Is “Triple D” the real deal?
After a short-lived amateur career, Dubois has shown that he’s an up-and-coming heavyweight that can pack a serious punch. A knockout rate of over 90% and only one of his 15 pro bouts going the distance proves as much.
Though Joyce’s corner are quick to write off Dubois’ conquered opponents (and, weirdly, liken the step up to fighting Joyce to going from “Butlins to the Maldives”… whatever that means), Dubois made light work of dispatching former title-challenger Kevin Johnson and a slick-footed Nathan Gorman.
At 23, he’s justifiably earned himself the title as one of the heavyweight division’s brightest prospects. But as hard-hitting former champion Deontay Wilder found in February, power-punching can only get a heavyweight so far.
Is time running out for Joe Joyce?
Unlike Dubois, Joyce’s distinguished amateur career saw him sweep his way to medals and almost replicate Anthony Joshua’s feat of bagging himself an Olympic gold in 2016. Like Dubois, however, Joyce is also unbeaten since turning pro, winning all but one of his 11 bouts within the distance.
At 35, time isn’t on Joyce’s side. Though his potential is clear to see (beating former title challengers Bryant Jennings and Alexander Ustinov and former champion Bermane Stiverne in quick succession), time is running out for Joyce to earn the title shot some feel he was destined for.
Joyce’s 11 bouts belie his experience. But as previous fights have shown, hard-working and tough as he may be, Joyce is easy to hit. And against someone as powerful as Dubois, that could well prove to be his undoing.
What to expect from Dubois v Joyce?
Given Dubois’ propensity to take the centre of the ring, move forward and land the kind of huge right hand that sent Kyotaro Fujimoto into the shadow realm, and Joyce’s tendency to outwork his opponents, it’s a difficult fight to call.
A knockout win for Dubois or a points victory for Joyce are the two ways we see this one going. But, as heavyweight boxing has often shown in recent years, one punch can change everything.
In other words, expect fireworks, haymakers, and a seriously impressive victory for the winner to add to their collection, either way.
When is Daniel Dubois v Joe Joyce on TV?
Dubois v Joyce takes place from 7.30pm on Saturday 28 November on BT Sport 1 HD.
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