Joe Joyce ended his feud with fellow British heavyweight Daniel Dubois with a tenth round TKO after a back and forth encounter at Westminster’s Church House. The bout had divided opinion up and down the country, with fans, fighters and pundits split on what was a genuinely 50/50 scrap. But in the end it was the volume and stellar jab work from ‘The Juggernaut’ that closed Dubois’ left eye and forced him to take a knee 36 seconds into the tenth, from which he wouldn’t rise from.
It was Joyce (12-0, 11 KO’s) who eased into the contest most comfortably from the opening bell, establishing a solid jab making use of his height and reach advantages. Dubois (15-1, 14 KO’s), perhaps feeling the pressure of facing the biggest challenge of his career to date, looked tentative in the opening stanza, but came out firing in the second, closing the distance and landing a number of hard overhand rights that kept Joyce steady.
The next few rounds followed a similar pattern, with Dubois landing the harder, more eye catching shots, wobbling Joyce on numerous occasions but never having him in too much trouble, while Joyce continued to land the larger number of punches, with that jab finding a regular home.
From the midway point Dubois’ left eye was beginning to close, as he wore the damage of that piston-like jab, but it didn’t stop him unloading some heavy shots to begin the seventh, but where Joyce differs from Dubois’ previous opponents is he can take a hell of a shot and wasn’t going anywhere.
Before long the eye was completely shut and the explosions of energy and power were few and far between, Joyce was going nowhere and as the fight reached the latter stages it looked as if Joyce had more left in the tank. And then as the tenth began the fight was over, Joyce landed a left right on the swollen eye of the 23 year old and he dabbed at it before taking a knee, he wouldn’t rise.
Joyce now seems perfectly placed to move onto world level having captured the British, Commonwealth and European baubles. With a rematch with former amateur foe Oleksandr Usyk on the agenda, potentially for a vacant world title, Joyce has a lot of options going forward.
For Dubois its back to the drawing board, as it became abundantly clear that while he is undoubtedly talented, he’s not quite ready for the upper echelons of the division, and at just 23 there’s no need to rush. Learning more in this fight than his previous 15 combined, Dubois’ ceiling is still sky high, and despite harsh words of him ‘quitting’, should be commended for stepping up so early in his young career.
Elsewhere on the card there was a dominant points win for Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KO’s), who dropped Abderrazak Houya (14-3, 2 KO’s) twice on route to a score of 99-90, brushing off the cobwebs before potentially challenging the winner of Josh Taylor vs Jose Ramirez for all four light welterweight belts next year.
Hamzah Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KO’s) coasted to a tenth round stoppage of Guido Pitto (26-8-2, 8 KO’s), controlling the contest from start to finish and finally forcing the finish in the final round, when it potentially looked like he’d have to settle for a points win. With Carl Frampton proclaiming he was the best young prospect in the UK, the 21 year old is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Prospects Louie Lynn, Jack Massey, David Adeleye, Joshua Frankham and Mitchell Barton all recorded routine wins as well, with all expecting to move on to bigger and better things in the new year.