- Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce, two unbeaten and heavy-hitting heavyweights, collide in London on Saturday.
- The match is the biggest British fight of the pandemic era in combat sports, according to the event’s promoter Frank Warren.
- Warren said the winner of tonight’s fight will be on the cusp of world title contention, and could even be a future opponent for another of his clients – the WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury.
- The Dubois and Joyce bout is being broadcast on BT Sport in the UK and ESPN+ in the US.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LONDON â€” The stakes are high in the upcoming Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce heavyweight bout.
According to the event’s promoter Frank Warren, it is the biggest British fight of the pandemic so far.
The match puts together two of the country’s top prospect-come-contenders â€” the increasingly-developing Dubois, against a man dubbed “Juggernaut” for good reason.
Warren told Insider he’ll be aiming to catapult the winner of Saturday’s showdown into fights, which could sell out London’s 02 Arena when crowds are allowed back into venues at full capacity, mentioning opponents Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte.
However, another of Warren’s clients, Tyson Fury â€” who is the world’s No.5-ranked boxer according to Insider â€” could be a potential opponent in 2022, once the WBC heavyweight champion completes a big-money, two-fight series with Anthony Joshua next year.
There is much to like about Dubois and Joyce top an eight-bout card at Church House in Westminster, London, Saturday, which broadcasts on BT Sport in the UK and ESPN+ in the US.
“It’s the most exciting fight and most anticipated one [of the pandemic],” Warren told Insider this week. “Whenever I speak to anybody about what’s happening, that’s the only fight they’re interested in.”
Joyce, 35, is an Olympic silver medal-winner at the 2016 Games and has a record of 11 wins (10 knockouts) as a pro.
Dubois, who had relatively little amateur experience, is 15 fights into his pro boxing career and has 14 knockouts from 15 wins. Both are undefeated. Both are dangerous, Warren said.
“Joyce is very dangerous. And I am concerned because how often do you see heavyweights at this stage of their career â€” winning heavyweights â€” getting in on?
“Everyone wants to get the perfect record in boxing and get into a slot for a world title shot, so this is a very unusual scenario [where promising, unbeaten talents are matched together].
“They both fancy the job. Both think they have got the beating of each other.
“Joe has a wealth of experience, he’s tough, and he’s strong. Daniel’s only had 15 pro bouts and this is a real step-up for him â€” a rolling of the dice.
“But he’s a fast-learner, turned pro at a young age, and would have worked hard to get to the Olympic Games but that’s not the route he chose.”
Dubois has been evolving at a tremendous pace, Warren said
Warren said Dubois development from when the Londoner attempted to blast Kevin Johnson out of the ring in 2018 to his more cerebral and jab-heavy approach the following year, when he knocked Nathan Gorman out in the fifth round, has been marvellous to witness.
“People thought he was a one-trick pony with his punching power but he showed against Nathan Gorman that he wasn’t.
“He showed in that fight that he’s got more than that, and what he’s got is a super jab. We know he’s got the power but the jab was the key to the fight.
“And what I was pleased with was how he learns and learns well. Again, when he fought the old warhorse Kevin Johnson, very difficult fighter to beat especially for young athletes, and he was just head-hunting trying to knock him out the whole fight.
“He was quite naive with his tactics, but went back to the drawing board and he’s now added to his artillery. He’s worked to the body and throws really good body shots.”
While Warren oversees the matchmaking and promoting of Dubois, the day-to-day coaching is done by Martin Bowers, who recently guided Denzil Bentley to the British middleweight title and has a boxing club â€” the renowned Peacock Gym â€” which is brimming with a promising prizefighter.
“It’s a great partnership we’ve got with the Peacock, with Martin and [his brother] Tony [the fighters’ manager].
“They come from a similar background that I come from. They’re very good at what they do, astute businessmen, and more importantly, from Martin’s perspective â€” he’s a very good trainer. He lives and breathes it. He’s a boxer’s man.
“You couldn’t want a more loyal guy training you and being with you â€” he knows what he’s doing.”
The Dubois vs. Joyce winner will be on the cusp of a world title shot
Warren told Insider that in 2021, the major heavyweight championships will be locked up in a two-fight series between the WBC titleholder Tyson Fury, and the WBA, WBO, and IBF king Anthony Joshua.
Warren represents Fury, is confident his fighter will win both fights, and told us he’d then be looking for an opponent.
Providing the Dubois vs. Joyce winner keeps on winning through the year, Fury’s opponent could be easy to find.
“You’re going to get Tyson and AJ in 2021,” Warren said.
“They will have their couple of fights, and by the time they get them out the way and Tyson wins both, Tyson is going to be the guy looking for opponents.
“By then, the winner of this fight Saturday can go in with the likes of Dereck Chisora, Dillian Whyte â€” they’re perfect fights for them and I think they have got the beating of them.”