The young and the old of it: Allan Cerf breaks down Dubois vs. Joyce.
Particulars: Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020 from Church House London, England, and sans spectators: BT Sport (free!) and ESPN present - Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois vs. Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce heavyweights. Four belts are on the line, including the WBC “better than nothing” belt. Kidding…Silver Belt.
Background: After delay upon delay, I’ve still been looking forward with excitement (love the heavies) to this bout – but, upon watching more film than I think anyone should have to in the case of these blokes – well, not so much. Both fighters are very pleasant people, with Joyce more so – articulate and pleasant, he is. Dubois too, but on the night I saw his simultaneous interview with Joyce, he was in a different time zone and quite tired.
Joyce is 35 with a huge amateur pedigree. And an outstanding one. He just missed winning Olympic Gold by a split decision which most agree was a referee-induced mugging. (Karmic boomerang? Remember Joshua did win gold on very shaky grounds.) So that was that and then at an advanced age, Joyce turned pro.
In stark contrast, Dubois, 23, hardly had an amateur career at all and started boxing to stay out of trouble in South London (where it’s not hard to find). Then Frank Warren, the very sharp well-known UK promoter (and less a windbag than Eddie Hearn with respect to the latter) snatched him up.
Fighter’s Grades: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Joe Joyce: C+ B B- B+ C B B- (Average of all) B- (2.8)
Daniel Dubois: B- B B- B- B+ B- B- (Average of all) B- (2.8)
Reality Check: The two met outside for a photo op rather recently and Joyce looked so much taller – but maybe the turf (an inch taller according to fighter stats) was uneven? If not, Joyce is far the bigger boxer, more so than stated on paper.
Look folks, both of these guys are round house punchers and ain’t too pleasing stylistically. They fight like your Mom, Dad, or friend who’s never watched more than a round of boxing. Round house, coming forward. Did I say round house? Hooks from both sides. Like on a school ground, but of course with much more force and quickness.
The party line is that Joyce has a ramrod jab “hard as a straight right,” that Dubois must negate. If Dubois does, he wins.
I see little evidence of Joyce having such a jab in the first place. Dubois, on the other hand, a ‘ferocious’ puncher,’ has mainly fought men your Dad could lick. Either that, or his opponents were unconscious before the fights commenced.
Britain’s Johnny Nelson, former pugilist and good reporter, hates to pick close ones, but said: “gun to head,” he’s with Dubois. On Dubois – no, his hands aren’t slow as stated by many. Reasonable speed and probably quicker than his opponent.
I’m pulling for Joyce though Dubois is apparently a 3-1 favorite after all ballots are counted (ha-ha). I pull for him because he’s a solid boxer at 35, and a very genuine chap. No other reason. Crazy, right?
The absence of straight punches really limits what either guy can accomplish in this game. Joyce’s advanced age is also very bad news going forward.
Neither man is a gate-keeper and maybe Dubois will improve tremendously. Maybe.
There are levels to boxing. Both men are said to be up and comers. To put their level in perspective, let’s pretend it’s the 90’s and both men are inserted into a mythical match-up with say, the up and coming Riddick Bowe. Bowe would destroy/decapitate both of these guys within four rounds.
Fight and prediction: Back to 2020. You never know. We could get fight of the year or KO of the year. I see a 12-round affair with Dubois prevailing. Intermittent excitement. I’d be very pleased to be wrong and hope for TNT.
There’s a lot of money and expectations on Dubois so without or with controversy says here:
Dubois UD 12 Joyce. See you at the fights!