Two of the United Kingdom’s biggest Heavyweight attractions clashed, and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce boxed his way to 10th round KO behind a left eye injury that ended slugger Daniel Dubois’ night
LONDON (November 28, 2020) — Two of the United Kingdom’s top undefeated Heavyweight attractions, Daniel “Dynamite” Dubois and Joe “Juggernaut” Joyce, spent all of 2020 connected to one another. The Covid-19 pandemic postponed a couple of earlier fight dates. Finally, Frank Warren and his Queensberry Promotions opted to forego the expected grand haul, the proceeds from the live gate, and move forward with the highly anticipated showdown.
Londoners Dubois, a 23-year old from Greenwich, and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joyce, a 35-year old from Putney, both picked up victories in stay-ready outings back in August and July, respectively.
The two had been projected to develop into major factors among the Heavyweight division’s elite. Inside the cozy confines of Westminster’s Church House, the pair put their unblemished records on the line for the vacant European title.
Once the action was underway Joyce’s steadiness gradually got the best of Dubois, and paid greater dividends than Dubois’ reliance on explosive outbursts. Joyce’s left jab, almost exclusively, fended off Dubois, and vision out of Dubois’ left eye possibly started to become an issue after a few rounds of action.
Both fighters enjoyed their moments in a well-contested battle. Joyce’s confidence peaked at the end of Round 9 when he raised his arms in the direction of Dubois’ corner to indicate he was full control of the fight. Early in the subsequent round, a left jab from Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) beat Dubois to the punch, and landed flush on the younger fighter’s left eye. Dubois (15-1, 14 KOs) stepped away before kneeling down to a knee. Referee Ian John Lewis stepped in to start his count, and surprisingly Dubois only went to stand up as the 10-count was complete.
Officially, Joyce moved to 12-0 with his 11th KO at the 30-second mark of Round 10. Dubois ran out of time with a serious injury that became too much for him to fight through. Joyce made matters worst by staying on top of maintaining a distance that made it difficult for Dubois to find the will to fight on and make him feel like victory was still within reach.
The loss, Dubois’ first, certainly halts the career of the young fighter. But the conclusion wasn’t a moment where a younger fighter was completely ruined physically. This was another case where a fighter with power needs to figure out their next move when an opponent stands up after being hit well multiple times.
The two fighters started unusually fast. Each went to their jab, center-ring, shortly after the first bell. Joyce pressed forward pushing his jab out towards Dubois’ face repeatedly. The activity had Dubois working off his back foot and looking to adjust.
Dubois stepped to Joyce right after the Round 2 bell.
Dubois marched forward again unloading big shots. Joyce retreated slightly, allowing for the onslaught to lighten.
Joyce regained his momentum in Round 4. Dubois put his punching together better in the following frame. Joyce looked hurt or fazed briefly, but the round took its toll on both fighters.
The younger Dubois landed a pair of effective right hands over the first half of Round 6. Joyce’s jab stayed busy. Dubois’ left eye was badly swollen by round’s end, clearly showing the effects of Joyce’s lead hand. Dubois took the bigger risks to land the bigger punches.
Fireworks ensued early in the opening of the next stanza. The two closed out the first minute shooting their jabs. Joyce circled to his right, as he had been doing. Dubois pursued but with the interruption of half steps backwards to evade the long jab of Joyce.
Joyce walked forward in Round 8. Each fighter deployed his jab, but in their own manner. Dubois continued to look for openings to lunge forward and land meaningful punches. Joyce remained committed to his jab. Dubois attacked the body, but landed a flush right hand at the end of the round. The frame was pretty balanced in terms of scoring.
Joyce kept it simple to start Round 9. He feinted and pawed with his jab while circling to his right. Joyce also fought from outside. Dubois bounced on his toes as the round moved the final minute. Joyce’s distance neutralized Dubois’ offense, as the 23-year old waited for openings that rarely presented themselves.
Dubois went to assert himself at the start of the 10th round. Just as soon as he went to engage Joyce shot another left jab, directly to Dubois’ left eye, that noticeably bothered Dubois as the two split apart. Dubois wiped away at his badly swollen eye, and then quickly dropped down to a knee. His eye appeared to be swollen completely shut. Dubois remained knelt down on one knee, looked at his corner and back at referee Ian John Lewis as the count reached 10 at :30.
The big showdown streamed live in the United States on ESPN+.