Joe Joyce claimed the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight titles with a stunning tenth round knockout of Daniel Dubois at Church House, Westminster on Saturday.
Dubois (15-1, 14 KOs) took a knee in the tenth with vast swelling to his left eye and was unable to beat the count, as Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) emerged victorious.
The meeting had been originally set for April, but was then postponed multiple times due to the pandemic, but the pair finally met each other in the ring some near eight months later.
The ‘Juggernaut’ worked off his jab in the opener, and both men were having a good look at each other, each man wary of the other’s power.
Joyce had a decent start, and was not allowing Dubois to get his combinations going, damaging the favourite’s eye with several jabs.
Dubois began the second with a lot more intent, and came out firing. A right hand clipped the Joyce halfway through the round, and he looked disorganised all of a sudden, but he regrouped to see out the session with Dubois in control.
Dubois again began the third firing multiple power shots, with Joyce cumbersome and slow in movement.
The attack had taken a bit out Dubois though, as Joyce withstood the assault to then put his own good work together off his jab.
Joyce was boxing smart and keeping out of range, and Dubois’ face was reddened, and his eye was also swollen.
Dubois had a much better fifth, beating the 35-year-old to the punch with regularity, but the rounds were tough to score, with both men having success.
Dubois’ eye was closing, but to his credit he enjoyed a solid seventh with power punch assaults.
Joyce though got back to his boxing, and the eighth and ninth rounds saw him turning the screw with some solid point scoring work.
With Dubois’ left eye near enough closed, a left hand lead right on the affected area forced the 23-year-old to take a knee, where he sat out the full count from referee Ian-John Lewis and lost his unbeaten record.
“Respect to Daniel, he’s got some power and will come again. I felt his power and was happy to take it,” Joyce told BT Sport post-fight. “I want (Oleksandr) Usyk next”.
“He caught me with a good jab and I couldn’t see out the eye, I just can’t explain it,” said Dubois to BT Sport post-fight.
“I was probably a bit trigger happy, I need to be smarter and pace myself better.”
Sheeraz stops Pitto in final round
Hamzah Sheeraz looked as though he would have to settle for a points win against Guido Nicolas Pitto, but he found the punches in the final round to force a stoppage to defend his WBO European super-welterweight title.
Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) dominated the contest against the tough Argentine, and had to be patient after delivering several power punches that failed to budge Pitto (26-8-2, 8 KOs).
Eventually, in the final frame, he put together some hurtful punches that forced referee John Latham’s intervention.
Catterall closes on Taylor-Ramirez winner
Jack Catterall bided his time ahead of a future world title shot with a dominant win on the scorecards against the tough Abderrazak Houya.
The first half of the fight was controlled by Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs), but at a low key pace, but the Chorley man landed a peach of a left hand, as he beat Houya (14-3, 2 KOs) to the punch, dropping his foe heavily in the sixth.
Houya bravely survived the round, and had his successes in the seventh too, but two rounds later his race looked run, as his legs betrayed him following a slashing left hand from Catterall.
Again though, the Tunisian caught a second wind and bravely made it to the final bell, where there was no doubt as to who the winner was going to be.
A score of 99-90 from referee Victor Loughlin ensured the WBO super lightweight number one contender remained unbeaten and on course for a shot at the victor of the undisputed clash between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez, who he stepped aside for.
Adeleye continues charge
David Adeleye took out Danny Whitaker in two rounds, as he continued his education in a heavyweight attraction.
A chopping right hand felled Whitaker (4-2) in round two, and although he bravely made the count, a short right uppercut stunned Whitaker again, and a follow up attack again forced him to the canvas.
Adeleye (4-0, 4 KOs) landed a blow while Whitaker was down, but he and the corner had seen enough and the fight was waved off.
Jack Massey (17-1, 8 KOs) took a wide points win against Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (16-2-1, 16 KOs) in their eight round cruiserweight contest in what was a largely forgettable affair.
Referee Victor Loughlin scored the bout 79-74 in favour of the former British title challenger.
Elsewhere, Louie Lynn (8-0, 7 KOs) stopped Paul Holt (7-9, 2 KOs) in seven rounds of their featherweight eight rounder, and at super welterweight, Joshua Frankham (2-0) took a 40-36 win against MJ Hall (2-57-2).
Mitchell Barton (1-0) made his professional debut, and the Berwick heavyweight took all four rounds against Matt Gordon (2-4-1)