Back inside the “BT Sport bubble”, some of Queensbury Promotions’ biggest names gathered on Saturday night – some in bigger tests than others.
No lessons learned as Dubois sets up Joyce clash
As Lou DiBella will tell anyone who’s listening, “You could take a ham sandwich to 15-0.” Daniel Dubois is no ham sandwich, but the match-making the British heavyweight is receiving is on wafer-thin ice.
Ricardo Snijders lasted 200 seconds on Saturday night, as “DDD” threw thunderous body shots to the Dutchman weighing 30 pounds less than the 22-year-old. A smidge over the cruiserweight limit, – a division the current Dutch heavyweight champion was competing in until September last year – it was a case of when, not if, Dubois would bulldoze through the overmatched away fighter.
It marks the third fight in a row that Dubois has stopped his opponent inside the first two rounds of a contest. Ebenezer Tetteh and Kyotaro Fujimoto lasted 7 minutes 20 seconds between them in 2019, as Queensberry Promotions and Frank Warren walk Dubois through as many trinket opportunities as possible.
It could have been very different. Erik Pfeifer was the original opponent drafted to headline Saturday night’s show, but after failing to confirm an MRI scan, was pulled last-minute.
Pfeifer was a credible opponent to face Dubois, and many believed he would offer the Briton his toughest test yet in the pros. Contractual he-says, she-says aside, the opponent change may be a sign of Queensberry erring on the side of caution ahead of a planned in-house fight with Joe Joyce later this year.
Dillian Whyte’s Russian nightmare last weekend underlined the threat of a live underdog in the current climate. Just as many viewers would have tuned in to see Dubois regardless of his opponent, with those in charge of plotting the heavyweight’s career happier to settle with a rank outsider.
It’ll all be forgotten in no time. Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce is a fantastic fight, and assuming all goes to plan for their Oct. 24 bout we’ll be able to measure precisely where both men are in their careers. I wouldn’t count on it just yet. Warren seems adamant to stage this fight in front of a crowd, but two months out we don’t look close to that being an option – especially at capacity.
With purse strings tightened and fewer risks taken in this post-Covid world, promotors will expect to be given passes on dud fights. Patience will soon wear thin with fans, and 1/100 favourites won’t be tolerated.
“Showtime” Sunny answers critics with flashy display
Thomas Essomba was supposed to be a potential banana-skin to Sunny Edwards on Saturday night. Instead, the 24-year-old super-flyweight boxed to an impressive game-plan inside the BT Sport Studios, re-inforcing his impressive footwork.
Dancing, gliding, slipping and jabbing his way to a unanimous decision, Edwards stated his claim for the performance of the night in Stratford, defending his IBF International title in style.
Now 15-0, Edwards will surely be moved into a world title shot soon. A move up to the 115-pound division was out of necessity for stronger opposition and bigger tests, with the Sutton fighter more comfortable as a flyweight.
Sporting a barnet that my 3-year-old niece would refer to as “Topsy-Turvy” hair, the younger brother of former flyweight world champion Charlie Edwards made a statement over the British Cameroonian. Sunny has made friends and foes on social media over recent years, but there is no denying his talent inside the ring is maturing fight-on-fight.
It’s hard to think of a British fighter with footwork as seamless and impressive as Sunny’s. His adeptness of movement allows impressive counter-punching from dangerous angles, and with improvements on his conditioning and dieting, Edwards looks close to a champion in waiting. Opportunities permitting.
Moruti Mthalane – South Africa’s IBF world champion – is top of the hit-list for Sunny down at 112 pounds, as he looks to follow in his brother’s footsteps at flyweight.
Despite facial hair akin to “a wet lolly that’s rolled under the sofa,” the 24-year-old is doing everything right.