December 7, 2021

‘Prize to KO Dubois is the honour to fight AJ’

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James Dielhenn

Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn

“Joe Joyce believes he belongs in that company”; Joyce and Daniel Dubois risk their unbeaten records on Saturday with a shot at Anthony Joshua on their minds; AJ defends his world heavyweight championship against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Last Updated: 24/11/20 7:55am

Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce

Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce

Joe Joyce would be “honoured” to challenge his former sparring partner Anthony Joshua – and knows that is the prize if he can KO Daniel Dubois, says his manager Sam Jones.

Unbeaten heavyweights Dubois and Joyce clash on Saturday with the British, European and Commonwealth titles on the line, but also a crucial ranking with the WBO that could result in a world title fight next year.

“Joe is below Daniel, quite unbelievably and outrageously, in the rankings,” his manager Jones told Sky Sports.

Dubois and Joyce risk their unbeaten records Dubois and Joyce risk their unbeaten records

Dubois and Joyce risk their unbeaten records
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev, December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev, December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev, December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office

“Dubois is sitting pretty at No 2 on the cusp of a world title fight with either Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk [the current WBO mandatory challenger] depending upon if the belt becomes vacant.

“If Joe beats Dubois, he gets that spot. This is what motivates Joe.

“Joe has been in the deep end from the get-go but has to beat a 22-year-old who is tipped as the next Mike Tyson – that’s his quick route to the world title. So be it.”

Joyce won the Olympic silver medal in 2016 four years after Joshua won gold – they have shared countless rounds of sparring over many years as representatives of Team GB.

Joshua must defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and hopes to fight WBC champion Tyson Fury in 2021 but could find Joyce as a new contender to his titles.

“Yes, of course,” Jones insisted. “Joshua and Fury are the two kingpins of the division and if any heavyweight doesn’t want to fight them, then they should retire.

“Joe wants fights against the likes of Joshua, Fury, Usyk.

“It would be an honour to share the ring with Joshua. Two Brits is always a huge fight.

“After this fight, Joe will be in the mix and able to call out any of the top guys.

“Joe believes he belongs in that company.”

Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce have sparred hundreds of rounds in the past Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce have sparred hundreds of rounds in the past

Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce have sparred hundreds of rounds in the past

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Joshua: I’m serious about Fury’s WBC belt

Joshua: I’m serious about Fury’s WBC belt

Joyce is 12 years older and far more experienced than Dubois, aged 22, if his extensive amateur career is taken into account.

Dubois is considered a special talent for his knockout pedigree, but Joyce’s team believe they have been overlooked.

“Joe has beaten Frazer Clarke four times, Mahammadrasul Majidov, Bakhodir Jalolov who is a massive power puncher, Ivan Dychko, Filip Hrgovic and Tony Yoka but people have disregarded him,” said Jones.

“So all the pressure is on young Daniel.

“I honestly think that Dubois’ side think Joe is useless!

“But Dubois, apart from the Nathan Gorman fight, has been in total mismatches. He can seriously punch, he can bang, Joe knows that.

“But can he mix it up? What will he do in the later rounds? He hasn’t experienced somebody really trying to beat him yet.

“Joe knows how to win on the world level. You don’t win the medals that Joe has won if you are rubbish.

“Joe’s power is underestimated. When Dubois feels one of Joe’s jabs? He will be uncomfortable.

“I’ve had my new heavyweight signing, Sol Davies, sparring Dubois. Sol said: ‘Dubois is good when he is having everything his own way but when someone is putting it on him, he doesn’t know what to do’.

“We believe Joe is a better boxer than Dubois, is more experienced and has fought better opposition.”