BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Joe “The Juggernaut” Joyce felt he shut up his critics as he broke the will of Daniel Dubois in their big heavyweight clash on Saturday night.
The unbeaten 35-year-old was a big underdog with the bookies but collected his 12th straight win as his opponent was counted out in the 10th round.
Joyce took the British and Commonwealth titles off of Greenwich’s Dubois, 23, as well as claiming the vacant European belt.
A punishing stream of hard and accurate jabs caused serious damage to the left eye of Dubois, who dropped to one knee and allowed referee Ian John-Lewis to wave the contest over.
Joyce took some hard punches of his own but never seemed in trouble against the South Londoner, who had 14 knockouts from 15 victories.
Asked by iFL TV what his chin was made from, the former Earlsfield ABC amateur replied: “Granite, stone, steel…I don’t know.
“I’m very pleased. I got him out of there and I proved all the doubters wrong.
“I felt the jab was landing well so I kept at him, took his jab away, used my footwork and stayed away from the dangerous shots. I stuck to the game plan and it worked for me.
“I had to keep it safe because Daniel has got the power and it was working.
“He’s a good, strong guy. I’ve got a couple of lumps and bumps but I felt okay. I could’ve done another five rounds.”
Two of the judges had Dubois ahead going into the 10th round – one of those by a very wide margin.
But Joyce chose not to criticise that official. He said: “When I’m in there I can’t really gauge what is going on.
“I’ll watch back how I did. That’s the exciting part for me – the job’s done. I’ve won the belts and it’s time to watch it back and enjoy the celebrations.
“It was quite a close fight. I was happy when he put his knee down and I stopped Daniel Dubois.
“He definitely quit. But he saved his eye, his eye was busted up. And I broke his heart. He’s young and can come again.”
Joyce is ready and willing to take on Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in 2021.
Dubois had been rated number two by the WBO but Joyce now assumes that ranking.
The belt is expected to become vacant if Anthony Joshua pushes ahead with a money-spinning bout against Tyson Fury instead of taking on the Ukrainian, who is his mandatory contender.
Joyce was outpointed by Usyk in the World Series Boxing when both were amateurs.
“I want to unite the belts and fight all these top-class heavyweights,” said Joyce. “There is a small circle of top-class ones and I believe I belong with them. I’m ready to mix it with them.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.