It’s been a long old wait for fans and the fighters alike, but the most eagerly anticipated domestic showdown of 2020 is finally upon us this Saturday night.
The contest and bill has been cancelled and postponed multiple times, but Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce finally lock horns in the unusual setting of Church House in Westminster, London, scene of many political battles.
BT Sport televise in the UK, with ESPN + having the USA broadcasting rights. The vacant European Heavyweight title is on the line, as well as Dubois’ British and Commonwealth belts.
Dubois (15-0, KO14) has been cast as a UK second coming of Mike Tyson, with explosive power and knockouts in abundance, and for good reason. The Peacock Gym product is still only 23, and has blasted out all but one of his opponents in his professional career so far.
‘DDD’ has only been a pro since April 2017, and began with a series of early wins against limited domestic and continental opposition, capturing WBC Youth, Southern Area, and English belts, before knocking out former world title challenger, Razvan Cojanu in two in March 2019 to pick up the WBO European strap.
‘Dynamite’ proceeded to knock out Richard Lartey in four a month later in a fun firefight, and then claimed the vacant British belt, impressively knocking out Nathan Gorman in five to further enhance his credentials.
It was strap season as he added the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International crowns in his next fight, blasting out Ebenezer Tetteh in a round, and Kyotaro Fujimoto was knocked out in two to close out 2019 with a WBC Silver title added to the collection.
In waiting for Joyce, Dubois warmed up for their meeting with a second round demolition of Ricardo Snijders at the end of August. The only man to go the scheduled quota of rounds is Kevin Johnson, with ‘Kingpin’ going ten dull rounds with Dubois in October 2018.
Joyce (11-0, KO10) is also heavy handed, and is a man in a hurry having turned over at 32 after a successful unpaid career, culminating in a Silver Medal at the 2016 Olympics.
He is now 35, and has been fast tracked to what he hopes will be stardom. Joyce turned pro in October 2017, stopping Ian Lewison in eight, and he claimed the Commonwealth title in just his fourth contest, knocking out Lenroy Thomas in two.
Three more wins led to a defence of his belt against former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne, and Joyce dominated the Haitian, stopping him in six.
The only man to take Joyce the distance was former world title challenger, Bryant Jennings, with Joyce digging deep for a points win in July last year.
In preparation for Dubois, Joyce shook off the rust with a third round stoppage of Michael Wallisch at the end of July.
Prediction: This fight could go one of two ways. If Joyce elects to use the boxing skills that got him to the summit of the unpaid code, then he has a real chance, but I see that option going out of the window early on against Dubois, who will force him to trade and come forward.
It has all the hallmarks of being a shootout, and, if that’s the case, I can only make a case for Dubois being the winner. I can see ‘Triple D’ landing significantly first, and can take Joyce out in a thriller within six, possibly even earlier.
It’s a busy undercard, with Chorley’s Jack Catterall (25-0, KO13) again biding his time as the WBO number one contender at super lightweight.
Catterall will likely step aside to allow Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez to fight for the undisputed ten stone title, and here, he takes on France based Tunisian, Abderrazak Houya (14-2, KO2) over ten rounds.
Jack has endured a frustrating couple of years since back to back wins on the cards against Tyrone McKenna and O’Hara Davies, and took part in two low key fights in 2019.
Houya is light punching, and was widely outscored in his last fight in December 2019 against Jon Fernandez in Spain.
Prediction: Catterall will have rust to shed here, and may take a few rounds to find his rhythm. He will have far too much for the visitor, and should box his way to a landslide points win.
There is a second behind closed doors outing in just under five months for the talented Hamzah Sheeraz (11-0, KO7) and the 21-year-old defends his WBO European Super Welterweight Title against Spain-based Argentine, Guido Nicolas Pitto (26-7-2, KO8).
Pitto is experienced, having been the distance with Jack Culcay and Khasan Baysangurov, but he was taken out inside a round in his last contest, an October 2019 defeat to Fiodor Czerkaszyn in Poland.
Sheeraz won the belt with an impressive sixth round stoppage of Ryan Kelly, and defended in July in a sixth round retirement of Paul Kean.
Prediction: Sheeraz will look to add another early victim to his CV, and he can get the job done here before the halfway point.
At cruiserweight Jack Massey (16-1, KO8) returns after a first career loss in his last fight, and he faces Dubai-based Iranian, Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (16-1-1, KO16) over eight.
‘One Smack’ Jack came up short on the cards in a vacant British title bid against Richard Riakporhe at the end of 2019, and will want to return in style.
Farid has fought all over the world against obscure opposition, with all of his wins coming inside schedule, but was stopped in the opening round against a debutant in his sole loss.
Massey can also halt Farid inside the distance here, possibly inside the first couple of frames.
Exciting heavyweight hope, David Adeleye (3-0, KO3) goes for knockout and win number four, as he faces Yorkshire’s Danny Whitaker (4-1, KO0) over a scheduled six.
Adeleye has blasted out all before him so far, and Whitaker’s only loss came in an Ultimate Boxxer contest with Nick Webb, where he was stopped inside a round.
Whitaker is slated to take on Kash Ali in a few weeks’ time, so will be looking to survive all six rounds here. I lean towards Adeleye getting the job done within three.
Surrey’s Louie Lynn (7-0, KO6) continues his education, and the featherweight tackles former Midlands Area Champion, Paul Holt (7-8, KO2), over eight rounds.
Holt has lost five of his last six, but is competitive, and Lynn will possibly have to go the distance here to get the win.
At super welterweight, Joshua Frankham (1-0, KO0) goes for his second win, but MJ Hall (2-56-2, KO0) is a tough customer, and should take Frankham the full four rounds before losing on the referee’s card.
Berwick-based heavyweight, Mitchell Barton makes his professional bow, and he should get an early win in his scheduled four-rounder with Matt Gordon (2-3-1, KO0).