BY RICHARD CAWLEY
David Haye has warned Daniel Dubois he will need to be in tip-top shape to stand a chance of prevailing in his mouthwatering heavyweight clash with Joe Joyce.
Greenwich knockout specialist Dubois, 23, faces the former amateur star on November 28 with no less than four belts on the line including the vacant European strap.
The South Londoner already holds the British and Commonwealth crowns and has destroyed pretty much every opponent put in his path on his way to compiling a 15-0 record.
But Joyce, 35, is a huge step up in class for Dubois. The Putney puncher won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and took gold at the European Games.
He turned professional in July 2017 with Hayemaker Ringstar – a promotional company which Haye set up but has since folded.
Two-weight world champion Haye and Joyce both shared the same trainer – Ismael Salas – towards the end of the Bermondsey man’s career.
“I have a favourite because I’ve witnessed what Joe’s done,” said Haye. “I saw it in the Olympics – many people believe he did enough to beat Tony Yoka in that final. That’s his calibre as an amateur. He’s been European champion and Commonwealth champion, he’s done it all.
“Dubois has had some great results and great fights but I need to see him in there with someone like Joyce to really know what he’s all about.
“There are more question marks with Dubois than there are with Joyce. You need to have a big gas tank. To get through to the second half of the fight Dubois is going to need to be in tremendous condition.
“I’ve seen Joe fight at a heavy, heavy pace in the gym and in the ring. I know it’s there. We haven’t seen if Dubois has that. I believe it’s there – but he hasn’t needed it yet. He’s going to need it this time. Anyone who has sparred or fought Joe has said he is horrible to be in there with. He’s so big and solid. If you do hit him he rarely backs up – he just absorbs it and keeps moving forward.”
Only seasoned American Kevin Johnson has gone the 10-round distance with Dubois, whose knockout percentage is 93 per cent.
Haye – a superb finisher in his prime – said: “Dubois has shown consistently that he can knock you out. If he can get those knuckles to your chin, you’re going to sleep – no matter who you are.
“I know Joe Joyce has a fantastic chin – one of the best in the business – but he doesn’t want to be taking concussive, successive punches from Dubois because he is that heavy handed.
“None of the guys he has knocked out are in the category of Joe Joyce in skills or defence – but he’s got them out of there in good style, so the confidence is there.
“I haven’t seen as much of Dubois in the gym but I’ve seen a lot of Joyce. I know Joyce is very adaptable. I’ve seen him use his long-range boxing against [Alexander] Ustinov. Then if you look at [Bermane] Stiverne he just went at him and ground him down.
“He’s shown me two different gameplans. I think Dubois expects Joyce to just come at him and he’ll try and shoot down the pipe.
“When Joyce gets his man hurt he just keeps punching. The punches aren’t that fast but they are very, very effective. He’s awkward, his shots come around the side.
“Dubois is younger and his best weapon is his left hook to the body – that’s the shot that Joe needs to be mindful of. The only time I’ve seen him hurt was with that shot in the first round against Jennings.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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