Aftermath: Dubois vs Gorman & Joyce vs Jennings
Photo: James Chance/Getty Images
Tom Craze, Colin Harris, Oliver McManus, Paul Zanon, Callum Rudge, James Lupton and Chris Glover react to the weekend’s boxing, as Daniel Dubois sees off Nathan Gorman and Joe Joyce defeats Bryant Jennings…
BM: Give us your take on Dubois vs Gorman
TC: A superb performance by Dubois and a huge statement made. While I was one of those who had picked Dubois throughout the build-up, the way in which he got it done was more impressive than I imagined he might. Gorman - painted by many as the better natural boxer - wasn’t just outfought from the opening bell, he was also outboxed. Any game plan he had looked overly reliant on his counter left hook, and once Dubois established a jab, to go with all his other physical advantages, it was game over.
CH: A brilliant performance from Dubois from start to finish. In a genuine 50-50 contest between young unbeaten fighters it very quickly became clear that there was a gulf in class here as Dubois took control early, outboxing the boxer and then showing his punching power with a knock-down and then a knock out. I thought Dubois showed poise, ability and savvy beyond his years.
OM: Dubois' use of the jab throughout the contest was masterful. It's reassuring to see such a young heavyweight have a profound respect for the most basic punch and use it to such good effect. The soft left he threw to draw the confident counter from Gorman resulted in a gap just big enough for Dubois to exploit and he didn't need a second invitation. Cold, calculated and clinical from the 21 year old and I loved every second of it. Quite remarkable how he turned a true 50-50 match-up into one sided dominance.
PZ: Dubois imposed the ramrod jab, his power and - for a 21 year old - put on a very mature performance. Gorman simply couldn't cope with that power…as most heavyweights have found out...and will find out.
CR: A very good performance from Dubois, without being perfect. Ricky Hatton took a leaf from Andy Ruiz Jr’s book by instructing his charge to counter whenever Dubois came in. Gorman had some success but in the end Dubois’ jab, power and ring generalship was too much for Gorman.
JL: Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong in my prediction! Dubois was impressively destructive in what should have been his toughest test to date. Dubois and Bowers had the perfect game plan and executed it. Gorman will learn from this and come again.
CG: Dubois showed that he is the real deal against a game Nathan Gorman. Is there a case that Gorman needs to adapt his game to deal with the bigger heavyweights? Possibly. All in all however, you can’t take anything away from Dubois, it was a great performance that justifies why he’s as talked about as he is.
BM: How should the next year of Dubois’ career pan out? What sort of opponents should he face etc?
TC: Dubois proved many doubters wrong on Saturday night. There’s plenty of cause for excitement but, given that he’s still just 21, there’s no need for his handlers to get carried away. While the Londoner looks destined for bigger things, he still has plenty to prove at British level. I’d like to see him settle domestically - Gorman, on paper, was by far his best opponent to date - and focus on winning the Lonsdale outright before moving on.
CH: Very simply: his next three fights should be three defences of the British title: I wouldn't mind if an Intercontinental belt or a vacated-by-Joyce Commonwealth title could be brought in as a double-sanction, but I would stop at nothing to have the Lonsdale belt outright before anything else. After that I would acknowledge that Dubois is still only very young and there's no need to rush - so I would be grabbing Commonwealth and Intercontinental titles, and then going for the European route. I think by the time Dubois is 26-27 years old, he could be 25 contests in and ready for some world title fights, but he shouldn’t run before he can walk – his team should take things slowly and properly, and play the long game!
OM: I said before the fight that I'd like to see the winner of Gorman vs Dubois face the winner between David Price and Dave Allen but, actually, I think Dubois vs Jennings is a sensible match to make. It would be an easy yardstick for those that question if Joyce and Dubois belong at the same level, currently, and the American's lighter frame would likely pose new problems for Dubois.
PZ: A shot at the European title (EU...not IBF, WBO or Snickers versions) would be a positive move, although the Commonwealth strap would also look good around his waist. I doubt current Commonwealth champ Joyce wants a Dubois fight though.
CR: He’s still a very young man at 21 years old so don’t expect him to move up from domestic level just yet. I could see him winning the British title outright in very quick time before moving on to European level soon after.
JL: I would love to see Dubois defend and win the Lonsdale belt outright but really who is there domestically to test him. Fabio Wardley? Jonathan Palata? I’d like to see Joyce vacate the Commonwealth title for Dubois to take that route before looking at the EBU title in about 12 months’ time.
CG: Dubois needs to push on to fringe world level opponents now for me. I wouldn’t make the mistake Frank Moloney did with David Price and throw him straight in the deep end, I’d continue to allow him to learn against fighters ranked around the top 15-20 in the world. Someone like Christian Hammer, who will give him good rounds, would be an ideal opponent next.
BM: After his win against Bryant Jennings how far do you think Joe Joyce can go as a pro?
TC: Joyce is now on the fringes of the world top 10 and, though his performance most likely won’t have satisfied his doubters, he showed he’s a real handful at this level. Two of the scorecards in his favour were very flattering - and judging in the UK remains a real issue - but the argument there is that the fight was far closer than it will be recorded, rather than any real debate over the winner. There are a number of names considered by most to be ranked above him that I’d pick Joyce to beat - Pulev, Kownacki, Povetkin et al - and it might be that Joyce only comes unstuck at the very highest level when gunning for a full title.
CH: I think it's time for Joyce to mix it up with a couple of hardened Europeans and try to take the European title too. I'd like to see him against names such as Kabayel (the current European champion), Szpilka, Pulev or even Povetkin. I wonder if Joyce is going to stay unbeaten until a world title shot arrives. He’s just outside the world top 10 at present and would have a good chance against any of the 6-10th ranked boxers in the world. However he would probably come unstuck right now if his next fight was against any of the top 5 (Fury, Wilder, Ruiz, Joshua and Whyte).
OM: Joyce, or more rather his management, need to take a step back from the whole Manuel Charr situation and look for meaningful fights not more trinket belts. If they're determined on going down some sort of American route then get Gerald Washington in but I'd like to see Joyce face tested, and testing, European opposition: Carlos Takam would be a good benchmark.
PZ: Joyce put on a high work rate performance with slow punch speed. Jennings capitalised on Joyce's low hands and one fears that a harder puncher would have forced Joyce to the canvas. However, he stepped up against Jennings, so he certainly needs a stiffer test in his next fight. Povetkin or Charr perhaps?
CR: I think Joyce is a fantastic talent and you have to admire his ambition taking on a fighter like Jennings so early. I was slightly disappointed with him on Saturday, we didn’t see his usual upper-body movement and the body shot he took early on seemed to slow him down. Ultimately, I think he’ll be a good world level fighter that will fall short of winning one of the major titles.
JL: Personally I can’t see Joyce beating the likes of Tyson Fury or even Andy Ruiz Jr. I feel he is better suited in a shoot out, so give me Joyce vs the winner of Whyte vs Rivas. More realistically I would expect to see Joyce in with Charr next. I do believe Joyce can win a world title if the right fights present themselves.
CG: Can Joe Joyce win a world title? I’m not so sure. If the stars aligned maybe, who knows? I don’t like writing fighters off, and I definitely believe he could become a ‘regular’ champion, but I feel to beat the likes of Wilder and Fury may be a step too far.