Where and how will Saturday night’s battle of Britain be won and lost?
After multiple postponements, the wait is finally over. On Saturday night, unbeaten British heavyweights Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will face off inside the Westminster’s historic Church House. The British, Commonwealth, European, WBO International and WBC silver titles will all be on the line as the “Triple D” and the “Juggernaut” attempt to pull up a seat at the world’s heavyweight table.
In a clash of styles, experience, age and personality, Dubois-Joyce ticks all the boxes. But what is there to consider before the first bell chimes?
Age vs experience?
12 years separate these two Britons, and Joyce will be eager to make every day of experience count from the plethora of styles he has encountered over the years. As an amateur, Joyce was extremely successful. Golds at the GBs, Commonwealths and Europeans were eclipsed by Olympic silver in Rio – a disputed silver in a contest many believed he won against Tony Yoka.
As a professional, he’s only mixed it with winning records on the way to amassing an 11-0 one himself – a real rarity when turning over into the paid ranks. Bryant Jennings is without question the best name on Joyce’s record, with a 2019 victory over the American a notable notch on his belt of progression.
How to Watch Dubois vs Joyce
Date: Saturday, Nov. 28 | Start Time: 2:00 pm ET
Location: Church House – Westminster, London, England
TV: BT Sport (UK) | Stream: ESPN+ (US)
Live Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com
With youth and inexperience comes fearlessness, and Dubois has shown all the signs of focus ahead of this monster domestic clash. The 23-year-old has blitzed through 14 of his 15 opponents, with only Kevin Johnson hearing the final bell back in 2018. We saw a green, impatient version of “Dynamite” that night inside the Leicester Arena. Unable to shift “Kingpin”, Dubois decided to throw and throw rather than stepping back, using his footwork and being more selective in the attack. This may prove to be the biggest turning point in his short career, with coach Martin Bowers adding shot selection and smarter attacks to Dubois’ repertoire since.
As much as Joyce has seen every style the sport has to offer, there is a growing consensus that Dubois’ power is special. Dubois will need to fight smart and fight patient if he is to nullify the edge Joyce has in experience. A fight of this magnitude is new to Dubois, but without the roar of 20,000 fans inside London’s O2 Arena, one that he should find comfort in quickly. On the surface, he’s coping well. These two have previously met in sparring inside the GB gym in Sheffield, but much has changed since then, and well, sparring is sparring…
Which power will prevail?
Both Dubois and Joyce have undeniable power, but it comes in different forms. Dubois is athletic, dynamic and spiteful with his right hand. He’s begun to set it up beautifully off of a stinging jab and if he finds the target flush it’s generally goodnight.
Joyce has more thudding, progressive power that grows in the fight. He’ll chop away at you, walking forward and throwing countless shots, breaking the guard and breaking the heart of his opponent.
Dubois’ power is more suited to the early rounds; Joyce’s to the latter. Both men have stopped all but one of their opponents, and will both see their key to victory in coming inside the distance.
To address power we need to address punch resistance. If either man can land clean, how will it impact the fight?
Have either’s whiskers been tested?
“I’ve got a granite chin, nobody can move me,” Dubois told the media this fight week. “I’ve been buzzed but never shaken – pain is just part of the game.” It’s hard to argue with Dubois – we haven’t yet seen him properly tested with power inside the professional ring. Richard Lartey probably asked the biggest question of Dubois in the four rounds that he lasted last April. “Triple D” didn’t give the Ghanaian respect in their opening exchanges and a bigger more effective puncher may have got more success against the Briton that evening.
Nathan Gorman landed plenty of left hooks in Dubois’ following fight, but the Nantwich fighter has never been known for his power.
Follow and contact Lewis Watson on Twitter @lewroyscribbles