The Friday Faceup

British heavyweights Dubois (left) and Joyce showdown Saturday.

Another great weekend of boxing is in store with action around the world to satisfy the fistic fan.

Undoubtedly the highlight in terms of current world significance is the big heavyweight showdown in London between undefeated contenders ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois and Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce for the vacant European title.

Both enter the fray intent on making the next step to world level and challenging for the titles held by fellow Brits Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. The British heavyweight scene is electric at the moment with Dillian Whyte also waiting in the wings.

The Dubois-Joyce fight is eagerly anticipated and sees a 23 year old Dubois with limited amateur experience but explosive power against a 35 year old Olympic silver medalist with the considerable elite amateur experience that comes with it. However, both are relative novices as professionals with only 26 fights combined.

The Queensberry promoted Dubois (15-0, 14 KO’s) enters as the favorite, albeit marginally, on the basis of his youth and power. He’s simply been sensational since turning pro a little over three years ago. With each progressive step he’s seized the opportunity and secured the British and Commonwealth titles en route.

Joyce’s (11-0, 10 KO’s) progress has been somewhat slower but his resume has more experienced names in Bermane Stiverne and Bryant Jennings on it. He’s similarly impressed to this stage but more by results than in a spectacular nature. His methodical way of walking forward taking shots to land one is a reason the experts and odds makers are favouring Dubois.

The Putney based Joyce will know to be successful he has to have an alternative plan and show more lateral movement and guile as a minimum. He is thought the superior boxer but has to avoid the early power of Dubois to get the victory.

It’s expected Dubois will take the fight to Joyce from the opening bell, looking to explode his big bombs on his opponent. If the younger man can do this we could be in for a short night.

However, The Undisputed’s take on this is for Dubois to set the early pace but Joyce to come through the early exchanges, maybe visiting the canvas, and then take the fight into the middle rounds, possibly shaking his opponent in the process. In the second half of the fight though we expect the younger man to take charge again and eventually lead to a stoppage around the ninth.

The whole Queensberry Promotion will be televised live in the UK on BT Sport 1 from 19:30 GMT. It is also available on ESPN+ in the US.

Current stateside interest will be on the Daniel Jacobs versus Gabe Rosado contest at super-middleweight being held in Hollywood, Florida. This is intriguing because it pits a former middleweight ‘world’ champion in Jacobs in his second fight at the higher weight class against a competent and confident Rosado. Both are elite fighters who are seeking further world title opportunity. The event is promoted by Matchroom and available on the DAZN streaming platform. It also features a competitive undercard with Daniyar Yeleusinov, Julius Indongo and emerging heavyweight Mahammadrasul Majidov.

No preview of the weekend would be complete without mention of the exhibition ‘fight’ between nineties icons ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jnr from the Staples Centre, Los Angeles. The hype has been building since the event was announced.

It has fascination value due to the resumes of the two fighters involved. Tyson being one of the most explosive and ferocious heavyweights of the twentieth century and former undisputed champion and Jones widely accepted as the best fighter of the 1990’s from middleweight up to heavy.

The match is made at heavyweight over eight two minute rounds. The combined age of both fighters is a staggering 105 years with Tyson at 54 and Jones 51 so any combat should be put into context.

Add into the mix that Tyson has been retired for fifteen years and Jones for nearly three and you can draw your own conclusion.

In a week where we’ve seen the sad passing of football legend Diego Armando Maradona your editor recalls being present at a live performance of Maradona’s show La Noche Del 10 (The Night of Ten) in November 2005 in Buenos Aires. This was recorded five months after ‘Iron’ Mike’s loss to fringe heavyweight Kevin McBride. Footage of this fascinating meeting is available on Youtube at Maradona entrevista a Tyson (La Noche del 10) – YouTube. Mike, as you would expect, has been one of the first to pay tribute to his friend.

Regarding the forthcoming contest the names of Tyson and Jones Jnr still resonate in the minds of boxing and casual sports fans and it should be a curious watch. But please don’t expect too much, just enjoy the moment. The event is available in the UK on BT Sport Box Office at £19.95 from 01:00 GMT and FITE.tv pay per view in the US.

Have a great fight weekend.

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