Saturday’s big heavyweight clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will have the British, Commonwealth, and European titles all on the line, as well as the vacant WBC “silver” title which will put the winner in top contention for the belt currently held by Tyson Fury.
But as Dillian Whyte learned for many years, a No. 1 WBC ranking and a “silver” belt don’t necessarily amount to all that, though a fight between the Frank Warren-promoted winner of this bout and the Warren co-promoted Fury would in theory be easy to get done.
The WBO belt, one of three held by Anthony Joshua at the moment, could also be in the winner’s sights, and Joyce manager Sam Jones tells Sky Sports that may be their bigger focus:
“Joe is below Daniel, quite unbelievably and outrageously, in the rankings. Dubois is sitting pretty at No. 2 on the cusp of a world title fight with either Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk, depending upon if the belt becomes vacant. If Joe beats Dubois, he gets that spot. This is what motivates Joe.”
Joyce (11-0, 10 KO) is ranked No. 11 at the moment by the WBO, which is neither “unbelievably” nor “outrageously” below Dubois (15-0, 14 KO), as neither of them exactly have any big, world-level wins; what may be actually unbelievable or outrageous is that Dubois is ranked No. 2 contender at all given that fact, but then it is a sanctioning body ranking and there’s not much you can do there as far as logic most of the time.
Still, the Dubois-Joyce winner will obviously have his sights set soon on a world title fight, and given that both Fury and Joshua are huge names in boxing and obviously in the United Kingdom, there’s a big fight to chase. (It is unlikely that Joshua will vacate the WBO belt if he retains his straps on Dec. 12 against Kubrat Pulev, for what it’s worth; promoter Eddie Hearn has stated many times that Joshua truly cares about his belts, and likely would just have to fight mandatory challenger Usyk next, leaving an undisputed fight with Fury to wait until perhaps late 2021 at the earliest.)
How to Watch Dubois vs Joyce
Dubois-Joyce isn’t the biggest event of the weekend, that honor going however unfortunately to the Tyson-Jones event, but it is for boxing fans the obvious true event of the weekend. This is a potentially outstanding matchup, with the fast-rising Dubois testing his mettle against Joyce, who at 35 needs to make his move now if he’s going to make it. These are two heavy-handed fighters, both unbeaten, looking to make their mark in what will really always be the sport’s easiest division to sell.