Joe Joyce reveals he told Daniel Dubois to follow the ‘Mike Tyson route and turn professional’ ahead of Saturday’s Battle of Britain heavyweight fight… on same day baddest man on the planet returns!
- Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois collide in a mega heavyweight contest on Saturday
- On the same night, 54-year-old Mike Tyson returns against Roy Jones Jr in LA
- Joyce has known Dubois for years and gave him career advice as a teenager
- Whoever wins is in line for a potential world title shot come the new year
Joe Joyce has revealed how Daniel Dubois once sought his advice on whether he should follow in Mike Tyson‘s footsteps – on Saturday the two heavyweights collide on the same night that the baddest man on the planet returns to the ring.
Tyson, 54, faces Roy Jones Jr, 51, in a box-office exhibition fight in Los Angeles, 15 years after his last professional fight.
Earlier that evening, Dubois and Joyce meet in a mouth-watering Battle Of Britain, with the winner in line for a possible world title shot in 2021.
Joe Joyce (right) and Daniel Dubois clash in a massive British heavyweight bout on Saturday
Heavyweight legend Mike Tyson returns to the ring at 54 on Saturday against Roy Jones Jr
The pair have rubbed shoulders for several years, ever since a teenage Dubois joined his rival on the Great Britain setup. Joyce, now 35, went on to win silver at Rio 2016, while 23-year-old Dubois chose to turn professional at 19.
‘I remember giving him advice because he was thinking of turning pro,’ Joyce remembered.
‘(I said): you can either stay on to potentially fight in Tokyo or you can do a Mike Tyson route and turn pro. He seems to have taken that advice… now I’m fighting him.’
The gamble has so far paid off for Dubois, who is 15 fights unbeaten and tipped to be a future world heavyweight champion. This fight represents a big step up, however, with Joyce a decorated amateur who is making a late dash up the paid ranks.
It promises to be an explosive meeting of two fighters who know each other well, having sparred alongside the likes of Anthony Joshua and Lawrence Okolie.
Dubois is unbeaten after 15 fights but this bout against Joyce represents a step up in quality
‘He wasn’t very sociable,’ Joyce recalled. ‘He said very little and you’d get back from the morning run and he’d maybe just have breakfast and get straight back into bed. You wouldn’t see him and he’d just emerge again for the next training.’
In preparation for this fight, Joyce was tempted to return to GB Boxing’s Sheffield base and spar with Joshua. They haven’t come face-to-face for a while but Joyce did contact his old team-mate following his shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.
‘I tried to message him but I think he might have changed his number after that,’ Joyce said.
‘He must get so many calls and I haven’t really tried to reach out to him since… he seemed pretty untouchable before that point and you’d just be predicting the rounds where he’d knock them out.
‘It’s quite surprising that he ended up getting knocked out. I can’t remember what I said, it was basically: ‘Keep your chin up’.’
Joyce is targeting a shot at Ukrainian Oleksandr Uysk for a world heavyweight belt in 2021
Joshua regained his WBA, IBF and WBO belt in the rematch but victory over Dubois could put Joyce in line for a WBO title shot. The current mandatory challenger is Oleksandr Uysk, whom Joyce lost to during his amateur days.
Should Joshua beat Kubrat Pulev on December 12 and then pursue a clash with Tyson Fury, boxing politics could mean Joyce and Usyk meet once more for the vacant belt.
‘A rematch with Usyk for the WBO heavyweight title of the world – that’s what I’m in boxing for,’ Joyce said. ‘I just need to get past Dubois and that’d be a great fight.’