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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Tyson-Jones, Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois)

Photo by Joe Scarnici / Getty Images for Triller
30
Nov

LEGENDS, CONTENDERS & PRETENDERS

Hi Dougie,

I hope you are well and enjoyed the interesting weekend of boxing. I would like to get your take on the fights and participants. Here are mine:

Contenders – Joe Joyce is a genuine contender and won’t be an easy fight for any heavyweight. He strikes me as a better fighter than he looks and is underrated in ability, strength, power, experience and mobility. I feel The Juggernaut has an excellent chance of defeating Usyk at heavyweight, if that fight happens next. I would love to see a professional rematch of the 2016 Olympic Super heavyweight final against Tony Yoka. Yoka had a decent win this weekend against Hammer. Who has impressed you most out of Joyce and Yoka since their last meeting?

Daniel Dubois showed that he can come again, but really lacked the experience to win this big “step up” fight. Many were too quick to claim that he was the future of the heavyweight division and “the next Mike Tyson” and many will now be too quick to write him off.

Legends – Despite my reservations, I did enjoy watching Iron Mike back in the ring. Clearly it is a huge risk him being in the ring at his advanced age, but in the context of this exhibition he had certainly got himself in really good shape and came to fight. Some of the old skills and technique were still visible. Roy Jones Jr is one of my all-time favourites and played his part in this exhibition but struggled to cope with the rejuvenated former heavyweight champ and really just played a spoiling role in the “contest”.

Pretenders – The YouTuber Jake Paul is definitely taking this venture seriously and can fight a bit. NBA stars should forget about ever getting in the ring to fight. Snoop Dogg was absolutely correct when he exclaimed, “you can’t play at boxing!”

Regards. – Jeremy, UK

No blowing smoke, Tyson looked decent, and sounded as enthralling as ever Saturday. He’s STILL boxing’s top star.

Snoop had all the right words at the right times (which, come to think of it, shouldn’t have been a surprise… he’s a legendary rapper, wordplay and timing are the tools of this trade), but he also had the appropriate attitude for the evening: He didn’t take it seriously. He had fun and he made the viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

I didn’t know what to make of the Paul-Robinson matchup. I don’t follow the NBA at all and if Paul (and his older brother Logan) had never dabbled in boxing, I wouldn’t know a thing about him other than my daughters cringe whenever his (or his brother’s) name is brought up. However, I knew he’d have a decided edge against the basketball player by having one pro bout under his belt as well as the training camps that preceded both of his pro experiences.  

Contenders – Joe Joyce is a genuine contender and won’t be an easy fight for any heavyweight. I agree. He’s strong, awkward, very durable and he’s got a hell of an engine for such a big body. On top of that, he moves a lot better than I thought he could, and he’s smart. That’s a difficult combination of attributes for any heavyweight to dominate.

He strikes me as a better fighter than he looks and is underrated in ability, strength, power, experience and mobility. He’s a better stick-and-move boxer than I thought he was coming into the Dubois fight. His strength, power and experience were as good as advertised.

I feel The Juggernaut has an excellent chance of defeating Usyk at heavyweight, if that fight happens next. Usyk had his number when they met in the World Series of Boxing in 2013, but the Ukrainian southpaw has got more wear and tear on his body now, and they only went five rounds in the WSB; they’ll be going 12 if and when they meet as pros. That’s a long time to share the ring with Joyce (and the extra 40-50 pounds the Londoner will have on former undisputed cruiserweight champ). That’s probably a 50-50 fight.

I would love to see a professional rematch of the 2016 Olympic Super heavyweight final against Tony Yoka. It would be a high-profile fight in Europe.

Yoka had a decent win this weekend against Hammer. Who has impressed you most out of Joyce and Yoka since their last meeting? Neither heavyweight impressed that much since turning pro (well, until Joyce stopped Dubois), but Yoka looks likes the more naturally talented boxer and athlete with the higher upside, however, so did Dubois before he actually shared the ring with Joyce.

Daniel Dubois showed that he can come again, but really lacked the experience to win this big “step up” fight. Experience is everything in boxing.

Many were too quick to claim that he was the future of the heavyweight division and “the next Mike Tyson” and many will now be too quick to write him off. Yeah, I can’t really be bothered with the “knee-jerks” tossing their s__t around on Twitter; make sure to laugh at those silly chimpanzees for me.

Legends – Despite my reservations, I did enjoy watching Iron Mike back in the ring. So did I. I thought he and Jones were able to resurrect aspects of their old form and styles for brief flashes in-between the grappling. And I thought they put forth a genuine effort without trying to seriously hurt each other. It was a successful venture from that perspective.

Clearly it is a huge risk him being in the ring at his advanced age, but in the context of this exhibition he had certainly got himself in really good shape and came to fight. Yeah! In other words, he delivered. So did Jones.

Roy Jones Jr is one of my all-time favourites and played his part in this exhibition but struggled to cope with the rejuvenated former heavyweight champ and really just played a spoiling role in the “contest”. Aw come on, give the Pensacola native some credit. Tyson was a once-in-lifetime heavyweight talent. Roy was a once-in-a-lifetime middleweight/super middleweight talent. I’d say Jones did well not to get KTFO. He did a good job of punching on the fly, keeping his back off the ropes, and he landed his share of hard shots. He had his moments.

 

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN

Hi Doug!

I hope you and yours are doing fine during the damn plague. Can’t wait for it finally being purged from the lands. Let me say thank you to you and your team for helping us ordinary folks get a bit distracted in these trying times!

Like many others I was highly skeptical of the Tyson-RJJ exhibition. Now that it’s done I’m kinda glad they did it the right way: trying to show some signature moves without real intentions to hurt the other guy badly. All for the show, with a certain dignity and a cordial post-fight atmosphere. I’m not sure this exhibition was greatly helping our sport but it did no severe damage either, I believe. And Mike at least looked genuinely happy after.

Now Sports. I enjoyed the Battle of Britain. Seldom was a nom de guerre more fitting than Juggernaut! I liked the Usyk impressions Joyce gave after the fight and I‘m looking forward to a possible Joyce-Usyk rematch, maybe for the WBO belt. As for Dubois: if not as a fan, then as a Neurosurgeon, I do have to compliment him for his decision to give up. That rapidly swelling eye might have well been due to a lateral orbital fracture. I might of course be wrong but my interpretation from DDDs reaction is that the last punch from Joyce might have pinched his optical nerve in its fractured channel and thereby caused some flash-like visual sensation that I imagine to be quite scary for a young man like him. Might have been better though for his future confidence if somebody else but himself had stopped the fight. I know that’s kitchen psychology but I thought he looked quite desperate from early on when in his corner. What’s your take on that and where do you think they both will go from here on?

MM:

RJJ vs James Toney (for RJJ’s Heavyweight belt)

GGG vs Dmitry Pirog (in 2012)

Lobo vs Wolverine

Stay healthy, Doug! Cheers. – Mark from Germany

Your Mythical Matchups: Jones by decision but a version of Toney that doesn’t have to make weight makes it a much closer fight than their first encounter at 168 pounds, Golovkin grinds a game-but-outgunned Pirog down to a stoppage between rounds eight and 11, and Lobo starches Logan in the opening round (but don’t fret, the Canadian mutant’s previously liquified brain will have healed 100% by the time his stretcher reaches the ambulance).

Like many others I was highly skeptical of the Tyson-RJJ exhibition. I was just worried that one of them would get hurt (and thinking it would probably be Jones).

Now that it’s done I’m kinda glad they did it the right way: trying to show some signature moves without real intentions to hurt the other guy badly. All for the show, with a certain dignity and a cordial post-fight atmosphere. It was fun, entertaining (in part because of the shared social media experience with fellow hardcore heads and Snoop Dogg’s commentary, which sort of brought a PPV house party vibe to the broadcast) and satisfying because of the effort the two icons gave and the respect they showed each other afterward.

I’m not sure this exhibition was greatly helping our sport, but it did no severe damage either, I believe. I think it brought more positives than negatives.

I enjoyed the Battle of Britain. Seldom was a nom de guerre more fitting than Juggernaut! Yeah, Joyce is as strong and sturdy as they come, but he also exhibited some decent footwork/lateral movement, a solid jab and patience while executing the right game plan to wear down Dubois.

I liked the Usyk impressions Joyce gave after the fight and I‘m looking forward to a possible Joyce-Usyk rematch, maybe for the WBO belt. Man, I hope the WBO doesn’t strip Anthony Joshua. I’d rather Usyk-Joyce be a final elimination bout for that belt. Usyk doesn’t deserve to be a mandatory challenger based on one decent victory at heavyweight (gatekeeper Derek Chisora) and Joyce doesn’t deserve to fight for a world title when his best pro victory was against a prospect. I really want the Fury-Joshua showdown to happen next year and I think the undisputed championship should be on the line.

As for Dubois: if not as a fan, then as a Neurosurgeon, I do have to compliment him for his decision to give up. That rapidly swelling eye might have well been due to a lateral orbital fracture. Your neurosurgeon vision serves you well, Mark. Dubois was taken to a hospital immediately after the fight where it was revealed that he suffered a fractured orbital bone and nerve damage in his eye.

I might of course be wrong but my interpretation from DDD’s reaction is that the last punch from Joyce might have pinched his optical nerve in its fractured channel and thereby caused some flash-like visual sensation that I imagine to be quite scary for a young man like him. Dude, they needed you to be there as both commentator and ringside physician. Calling it a night was clearly the right choice.

Joyce vs. Dubois.

Might have been better though for his future confidence if somebody else but himself had stopped the fight. Sure, but the way the end came was rather abrupt, no? You said yourself that the punch that caused Dubois to take a knee likely pinched his nerve, which caused him to choose discretion as the better part of valor. Prior to that, his biggest challenge was diminishing vision and inability to hurt or corner Joyce. Dubois’ eye was swelling shut by the end of Round 5, but he was still doing well and winning rounds. At the time of the stoppage, Dubois was up on two of three official scorecards. I had Joyce up five rounds to four after the ninth, but Dubois was certainly in the fight.

I know that’s kitchen psychology but I thought he looked quite desperate from early on when in his corner. He’s got to learn how to deal with adversity if he wants to one day advance to contender status. A fighters’ corners need to look out for their wellbeing, but they can’t baby them.

What’s your take on that and where do you think they both will go from here on? I think Dubois is young enough to recover physically and psychologically from his eye injury and this setback but it will take him a year or two to regain the mojo/hype and career momentum he had going into Saturday’s fight. I think Joyce’s future is now. He’s 35. His handlers need to roll the dice with him and see if he can hang with the legit contenders of the sport’s glamor division.

 

IT WAS AN EXHIBITION!

Hey Doug,

Hope everything’s well with you and your family and you had a happy Thanksgiving. I just wanted to talk about something that caught my eye on Twitter. People were complaining about the so-called draw between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., when as far as I know, there were no official scoring. From what I heard, this was just celebrity boxers scoring as an opinion as exhibitions are just that, exhibitions, there’s no winner.

Yes, Tyson was the guy who was winning those rounds, but it didn’t matter, in the end it was just something to entertain and that’s it. The problem I saw is that people are now using this new “controversy” as a way to bash boxing again. I’m just upset that everybody out there is saying this was a draw and making it even worse. I wish they just leave for what it was an exhibition. If they were really serious about scoring the fight, they should’ve brought guys from the media that usually do this like Steve Farhood. Man, I hate that anything that brings attention to boxing ends up being controversial in the end.

Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde

I wouldn’t let it bother me so much if I were you, Juan. Most observers just enjoyed watching the two hall of famers share the ring. They weren’t concerned with who was “winning” the rounds. They paid more attention to Snoop Dogg’s commentary than to the WBC’s unofficial judges – Chad Dawson, Christy Martin and Vinny Pazienza (who scored it for Jones). Tell anyone pitching a bitch about about Vinny’s scorecard to take it up with the former lightweight and junior middleweight titleholder – in person. I’m sure the Pazmanian Devil will set them straight with a few good-natured slaps across the chops.

 

JOYCE-DUBOIS

Hi Dougie,

I hope you were able to watch the all-British heavyweight clash on Saturday, credit to Frank Warren for giving fans a treat and not putting it on PPV.

Joe Joyce also deserves credit, I thought he boxed a very smart fight using a jab and move style we hadn’t seen from him since his amateur days. Whilst Dubois did enough to win rounds, The Juggernaut always looked more comfortable.

For me, Dubois looked every bit a fighter who lacked experience and had never faced an opponent similar in skill and will before, and he looked confused when he landed clean power shots and Joyce didn’t fold over like his previous opponents. Dubois is young and talented, but he has a lot to learn before facing the elite level fighters.

In my opinion, both guys are not elite level, even if Dubois has plenty of time to learn. Personally I’d favour any top heavyweight (Fury, Joshua, Wilder, Usyk, Whyte etc) over both guys.

What are your thoughts on both their futures? Thank you again. – Tommy, London

As I stated earlier in this mailbag column, Tommy, I think Joyce’s future is now, but Dubois still has a bright future, he just won’t realize his potential for a few years.

I agree that neither heavyweight is elite, but there are only two “elite” big men at the present time – Fury and Joshua – three if you count Wilder. I can see Fury toying with Joyce over 12 rounds, AJ gradually wearing the 2016 Olympic silver medalist down to a late stoppage, and Wilder blasting him in the opening rounds. But Whyte, Parker, Ortiz, Usyk and other notable heavyweights will have their hands full with the Englishman of Scottish and Nigerian descent. I’m not saying I’d favor him to beat them, but I don’t think those are easy fights for them.

Joe Joyce also deserves credit, I thought he boxed a very smart fight using a jab and move style we hadn’t seen from him since his amateur days. I should have watched Joyce’s amateur bouts before making a prediction on the outcome of this matchup, because the Juggernaut’s pro bouts had me thinking “Dooby” would be maneuvering around him like one of the cats from Morpheus’ crew in the Matrix.

Whilst Dubois did enough to win rounds, The Juggernaut always looked more comfortable. He had the facial expression of somebody taking a leisurely summer stroll in a park. He barely winced when Dooby hit him with his best shots. Come to think of it, Juggy’s face was barely marked up after the fight. Whoever fights Joyce next might want to test the big man’s body rather than target his pretty face.

For me, Dubois looked every bit a fighter who lacked experience and had never faced an opponent similar in skill and will before, and he looked confused when he landed clean power shots and Joyce didn’t fold over like his previous opponents. I noticed that too. Dooby needed to go the distance, or at least go into deep waters, with a tougher/fresher fighter than Kevin Johnson prior to taking on Joyce. Gut checks are important for any developing fighter on his way to a world title. Maybe his handlers figured Joyce was to be the gut check – they were right about that if that’s the case but Juggy was too much.

Dubois is young and talented, but he has a lot to learn before facing the elite level fighters. No doubt about it, but I’m going to enjoy watching him gather himself and continue his development.

 

BIG MATCH

Doug –

How would Joyce fare against Ortiz?

Kevin Key. – Duluth, MN.

Would this matchup be for the title of Most-Skilled Plodder in the heavyweight division? Just kidding. I think Ortiz can box and punch Joyce with a lot more authority than Dubois. The Cuban is not a green up-and-comer, he’s a veteran’s veteran. However, Luis is also getting long in the tooth and his stamina has never been that good. My hunch is that Joyce can outmaneuver and outlast the powerful southpaw technician and either stop him late or narrowly outpoint him over 12 competitive rounds.

 

OLD FIGHTERS COMING OUT OF RETIREMENT

Hey Doug,

I was just wondering, would it be such a bad idea if Mike Tyson started a league for old retired boxers? He mentioned it once a few months back and I feel like it may not be a bad idea under modified rules like Tyson vs Jones. It is better than the freak show fight Floyd did in Japan.

If no one got hurt in Tyson vs Jones, I do not see why a Holyfield vs Tyson 3 or a Lewis vs Tyson 2 or a Tyson vs Foreman is such a bad idea under modified rules.

Who do you think will win those fights if they were to happen now under special rules? Regards. – Saurabh

I think those bouts would be exhibitions, as Tyson vs. Jones was, so there won’t be any official winner, but if

This dream matchup should remain a fantasy fight.

there’s a stoppage the boxer who caused it to happen would be viewed as the “winner by KO” by most of the public and media.

I think I would favor Holyfield and Lewis to get the better of Tyson during their exhibitions. But I think Tyson-Holyfield would be competitive. I doubt Lewis would be interested in such “folly.” And I definitely think Tyson vs. Foreman would be a BAD IDEA. Come on, bro, Foreman is 71.

I was just wondering, would it be such a bad idea if Mike Tyson started a league for old retired boxers? That’s his business plan. He wants to start a Legends Only League that matches iconic athletes from a number of sports in one-on-one competitions. We’ll see how it plays out.

He mentioned it once a few months back and I feel like it may not be a bad idea under modified rules like Tyson vs Jones. It is better than the freak show fight Floyd did in Japan. Well, that’s not setting the bar very high, but I’d probably watch Tyson vs. Holyfield or Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler (fat chance of either agreeing to it).

 

THE IMMORTAL B-HOP

Doug,

Seeing Tyson v Jones, makes you realise how special Bernard Hopkins was to be ultra-competitive fighting and beating younger guys at the same age as they were on Saturday. – Phil, Wales

Hopkins was indeed one of a kind. That’s why I always tell him he’s the last of the great fighters whenever I see him. It’s also fair to say that he was totally crazy for fighting world-class light heavyweights into his late 40s.  

 

DANIEL DUBOIS

Hey Dougie,

What is your take on Frank Warren and his method of handling Daniel Dubois? I have seen this result so many times now, FW hypes up a hot prospect by putting him in for 1 or 2 round destructions of part time Cab drivers, Warehousemen and Goat herders, with the young fighter learning nothing and falling into a muscle memory groove of thinking everyone will fall down after a half dozen or so big right hands.

Then when he gets put in with an experienced fighter with a defence and a chin he is totally lost after 4 rounds of the only method he knows not working. Combine this with getting hit in the face way more than he has ever known and the inevitable bubble bursting moment comes, This ridiculous fashion of building a double digit win record with the fabled “0” by pitting a new fighter against stiffs is ruining their development, ok get a few easy wins at first but at least up the levels as they progress.

I watched the build-up for this long-marinated bout and you could tell Joyce was relishing it (yes I put a few quid on Joyce months ago). Joyce could see Dubois is naive and with his granite chin and the intelligence to move right all the time away from the danger power right hand while jabbing he controlled the distance and pace all the way.

Best Regards. – Steve Pollen

Joyce’s amateur experience showed during the contest and it gave him a bigger edge than many expected. I think most of us knew that Joyce could take a shot. He just has that sturdy look about him and nobody’d seen him rocked in previous bouts. Joyce had also faced the more notable pro opposition going into the showdown with Dooby. That served him well. But that doesn’t mean DDD feasted on total patsies on his way to 15 consecutive victories.

He just never experienced a true gut check until he faced Joyce, whose painfully ponderous performances in previous bouts sort of created a mirage that likely encouraged Warren and Team Dubois to take this fight sooner rather than later. That turned out to be a mistake, but most of us cannot (or should not) rip Warren or second guess the wisdom Dooby’s team or the validity of his blue-chip prospect status because most of us picked him to win (more than a few hardcore fans and members of the media predicted that he’d tear right through Joyce).

I don’t think it’s fair to say Dooby was “totally lost after 4 rounds” vs. Joyce. For starters, Juggy is more than “an experienced fighter with a defence and a chin,” he’s an Olympic medalist with freakish stamina for man his size.

Also, I thought DDD won Rounds 5 and 7 (even with the swollen eye) and I thought he was competitive in Round 8. He was in too deep vs. Joyce, but he’s not a front-runner or a pampered hype job. He’ll bounce back from this setback and the experience will make him a better, stronger all-around fighter.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.

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