‘I’ve never known a fighter as focused as Daniel’: Trainer hails dedication of Dubois with Brit and Joe Joyce on collision course for title tilt
- Daniel Dubois will face fellow British heavyweight Joe Joyce on Saturday
- The fight will take place at Church House Westminster in London
- Dubois defending British, Commonwealth, and WBC Silver heavyweight titles
As his trainer Martin Bowers drives him home from the gym, Daniel Dubois talks matter-of-factly about what he must do to knock out Joe Joyce on Saturday.
On another day it might be Dynamite Daniel’s father Dave at the wheel. Not only does the strapping lad who would be the next heavyweight champion of the world not own a car, he has not passed his driving test.
On a Saturday off training, Juggernaut Joe drives his Audi to Middlesex Uni, where he gained a degree in fine art, to work on a painting of world heavyweight champion Joe Louis to go with his portrait of Muhammad Ali.
Trainer Martin Bowers says he has never seen a fighter as focused as Daniel Dubois
If it comes to being driven, this late starter as a professional will leap into the ring at Westminster’s historic Church House fuelled by resentment that, as an Olympic silver medallist, he is the bookies’ underdog.
The contrast between Dubois — the early rising star of the ring’s marquee division — and Joyce, the old-school veteran with a wealth of amateur experience, is just one of the fascinations of a fight which should lead the winner to a world title shot at Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury late next year.
‘In all my years in boxing, I’ve never known a fighter as focused and single-minded as Daniel,’ says Bowers.
‘No distractions in his life. His dedication is phenomenal.’
Dubois will defend his heavyweight titles against fellow Brit Joe Joyce on Saturday night
Joyce’s manager Sam Jones counters. ‘Yes, the kid’s a good fighter,’ he says. ‘OK, maybe he doesn’t own a car or even a mobile phone. But he’s about to come up against a full-grown, mature, rounded man.’
Joyce lives in his London bachelor pad and has been romantically linked with DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford.
Dubois lives in rural retreat with his family, including his boxing sister Caroline, who is favourite for gold at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Young Daniel is only just 23. Joyce is 35. Therein lies the key to this fight for the British, Commonwealth and European titles — their coming together via very different paths.
Promoter Frank Warren drew them towards a risk they might have avoided by going their separate ways into world-title contention — but to which they have agreed at a time when boxing needs the best to fight the best.
He did so with this promise: ‘It will be a great fight, good for both your reputations.
‘While there has to be a winner, who will probably be first to get a world title fight, we will also work to ensure the loser gets his chance sooner rather than later.’
Dubois v Joyce is exclusively live on BT Sport this Saturday.
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