Joyce, Dubois Agree to Huge British Heavyweight Title Fight
Unbeaten British heavyweights Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois are poised for a huge summer showdown for the vacant British heavyweight title.
The British Boxing Board of Control ordered the fight in March, but many speculated it was too good to be true especially this early in each fighter’s career. But the BBBofC announced on Wednesday that the two sides had agreed to terms for the massive British heavyweight boxing spectacle, leaving only the official date and venue yet to be determined.
According to PaddyPower, Dubois is the ever-so-slight favorite on the early boxing betting market at 5/6 (-120). That leaves Joyce, the super heavyweight Silver medal-winner for England at the 2016 Olympics, the underdog at 10/11 (-110) in what’s virtually a pick-em contest between two of boxing’s best up-and-coming heavyweights.
Joyce’s Professional Career on Borrowed Time
Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) has held the Commonwealth heavyweight title since stopping Lenroy Thomas in May 2018. The Commonwealth championship is a prestigious honor that past winners such as Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have won before going on to win world championships.
Remarkably, Joyce accomplished his Commonwealth feat in just his fourth professional prizefight. But it makes sense because Joyce is already 33 years old, so he’s being fast-tracked to world level relevancy before it’s too late.
While there have been instances in boxing of fighters winning at the highest levels of the sport for the first time in their careers after their mid-thirties, that kind of thing is still considered a rarity in the sport. It’s a smart move by Joyce’s handlers to try and get him ready for a world title shot before age 35.
A late starter in the sport, Joyce started boxing at 22 and focused all his energy on accomplishing his Olympic dream. Joyce lost a split-decision to France’s Tony Yoka at the 2016 Olympics, but he brought home the silver medal. He turned professional at 32 but has already climbed high enough up the rankings to be considered a contender.
In his last fight, Joyce stopped former heavyweight titleholder Bermane Stiverne in six rounds. While Stiverne, 40, appeared out of shape and was years past his best days as a heavyweight contender, Joyce’s fast hands and overwhelming style dominated from the very start of the fight.
Dubois Can’t Look Ahead
Dubious (10-0, 9 KOs) faces Ghana's Richard Lartey on Saturday at Wembley Arena. Per 888Sports, Dubois, 21, is a heavy favorite at 1/50 (-5000) to win the fight, but it’s reasonable to suggest the popular UK slugger might feel a bit more pressure to perform now that he knows Joyce will be waiting for him after the fight.
Beginning his professional career in 2017 with comparatively limited amateur experience, Dubious has already defeated notable heavyweights Kirk Johnson and Razvan Cojanu.
The second-round knockout win over the crafty Romanian was particularly impressive as it matched Cuban slugger Luis Ortiz’s performance and exceeded that of former titleholder Joseph Parker in that Cojanu went the full 12 with Parker just last year.
While both heavyweight sluggers can bang, Dubois is probably the bigger and better puncher. He’s a sharp-looking and athletic heavyweight who many seem to think is on his way to becoming a serious contender in the division.
But in order to Dubois to reach those kinds of heights, which include tussling with the likes of Joshua and Fury at the top level, he must first prove he’s a better professional than Joyce.