Joe Joyce pulled off a stunning upset by knocking out Daniel Dubois in the 10th round of their massive domestic heavyweight clash in London Saturday night.
The 35-year-old ‘Juggernaut’ – a 3/1 underdog with the bookmakers – boxed cleverly throughout to use his reach and left jab to nullify the fearsome weapons which have been the Dubois trademark.
By the midway point of the fight the 23-year-old Dubois (now 15-1) had extreme swelling around his left eye from that Joyce jab, though he did test Joyce’s granite chin with some quality shots.
The good moments for Dubois – a 1/4 betting favourite – were only flashes though, and the end came early in the 10th in incredible fashion when Daniel went to a knee after taking a jab on the eye from Joyce. He clearly could no longer see out of the eye and stayed on the floor as he was counted out.
Joyce jab sets the tone
Joyce (now 12-0 with 11 wins inside distance) boxed cleverly at range in the opening session, using his superior reach to land regularly with his left lead. Dubois by comparison wasn’t able to establish his normally stellar left jab.
Any nerves Dubois may have felt in the first quickly disappeared as he came out to take the initiative in the second. A really positive response was highlighted by a couple of nice right hands which landed. It was Joyce this time on the back foot as ‘Dynamite’ started to show his power.
The first minute of the third brought the first alarm bells for Joyce as Dubois unleashed a blistering flurry, landing more than once. But Joyce has a granite chin and he was unmoved, regaining his composure to once again establish the jab in a pretty even round.
The Joyce jab was again a potent weapon in the fourth as ‘The Juggernaut’ just kept on coming, relentlessly pawing out that lead to land regularly. Not only was he nullifying the Dubois jab, he was also started to mark up his opponent’s face.
If the fourth was shaky for Dubois, he made amends in the fifth by really coming on strong. He started to land that trademark jab and tested Joyce’s chin again with some big power shots. A straight right through the Joyce guard late in the session was the highlight.
This fascinating battle continued to ebb and flow in the sixth as Joyce re-established the jab to increasing the swelling that had appeared around the left eye of Dubois. Daniel meanwhile did manage to land a couple of quality shots. But again, Joyce showed that his chin is made of tough stuff.
Dubois powers back
Dubois put in a huge effort in the seventh and dominated. A beautiful overhand right early in the session landed flush and set the tone for a round which belonged to ‘Dynamite’. Joyce though was still working on that swollen left eye of Dubois with the jab, and even managed to hit home with a lovely combination late in the session.
Round eight was a cracking session with both men having success. Joyce produced the bigger volume of punches while Dubois probably accounted for the better quality.
The pace dropped ever so slightly early in the ninth and Joyce was once again spearing out that left jab while Dubois limited his workrate. Joe put in his best work in the closing seconds and raised his arm towards the Dubois corner as the round finished.
Joyce closes the eye, and the show
The left of Dubois eye was by now a real problem, and it caused the end in stunning fashion early in the 10th round. Early in the session Joyce landed on the eye and Dubois went to his knees immediately. He remained there with his eye clearly closed as referee Ian John Lewis counted him out.
The victory not only gave Joyce the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, but he also claimed the #2 spot in the WBO heavyweight rankings from the vanquished Dubois.
Now he stands behind only mandatory contender Oleksandr Usyk in the queue to face defending champion Anthony Joshua. Should Joshua vacate to chase Tyson Fury, then it is likely Joyce will face Usyk for the vacant strap.
Afterwards Dubois told BT Sport 1 HD: “He caught me with a good jab and I couldn’t see out of the eye. It just happens man, I can’t explain it. He just pinged it and I couldn’t see out of it. I’m a tough guy, I’ll come again for sure.”
Joyce meanwhile said: “I was glad it was over. I’ve taken some big shots and respect to Daniel, he’s got some power. He’s young and he’s fresh and he can come again. I’m blessed with a good chin. I felt his power and I was happy to take it if you know what I mean. Preferably not to take it.”