Daniel Dubois says that Joe Joyce should not take any confidence from their sparring sessions if they meet next year.
Joyce and Dubois sparred many rounds together when they were both members of Great Britain’s squad in Sheffield. Joyce was Britain’s super-heavyweight at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, where he won a silver medal, while Dubois had been earmarked as the GB super-heavyweight at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“He was preparing for the Olympics and I was a young kid trying to find my feet and find out what was what,” Dubois said.
“We sparred plenty of rounds. We gave each other headaches. I was a young kid, 17-18 and he was going to the Olympics and I was holding my own.
“There has been a progression since I turned professional, I have excelled leaps and bounds. But those sparring sessions don’t count now.”
Joyce says he is keen on the fight but it is unlikely to happen until the summer. Joyce faces Marco Huck for the European heavyweight title on January 11 in Hanover, Germany, while Dubois is next likely to box in April at the O2 Arena, London.
Dubois says he is confident that Joyce will overcome the former WBO cruiserweight champion.
“He should win, he should have too much for him, but Huck is experienced and tough, you can’t write him off,” Dubois said.
Meanwhile, Dubois, 22, will be able to reflect on a good 2019 that has seen him rack up five stoppage wins, having boxed under 13 completed rounds, collecting the British, Commonwealth and a host of international belts along the way.
“2019 has been a breakthrough year for me,” he said. “Next year will be another breakthrough year for me. More great nights to come.
“I’m going to give my all and see where I get to at the end of the year.”
His one-punch knockout of Kyotaro Fujimoto is sure to get plenty of replays over the coming years. Dubois through a huge right hand when he saw the Japanese heavyweight shaping to face one of his own, the Londoner’s conclusively landing first.
“I’ve got the speed to match anyone in the world, so I thought ‘bang’, as soon as I saw it,” he said. “One shot, highlight reel. It was a good night’s work, in and out.
“I was rushing it a bit, for no real reason, I guess I was trying to impress. I calmed down, found my range and that was that. Sometimes it is not just about throwing, you need to do the other stuff, so relax and calm down.
“There were no nerves at all. I was just ready to go. There is nothing to be nervous about.”
Referee Victor Loughlin did not even bother to count as Fujimoto hit the canvas, not that Dubois was too concerned.
“Better him than me,” Dubois said. “I know that will sound brutal, but it is the risk every fighter faces when he gets into the boxing ring.
“When you step into the ring you are emotionless, cold and calculating. You are out for the victory by any means necessary.”